RG prints first of Jacoby’s NCAA scandal series


Here: Sounds like UO will be starring in #2.

12/10/2019: Last year the UO Senate gave Mr. Jacoby its Trust, Transparency, and Shared Governance Award for his work as a Daily Emerald reporter, uncovering various Duck athletic scandals despite the cover-up efforts of the UO administration. He’s since gone national – though I expect this series of stories will have some specific local content as well:

UO Senate live-blog today, Wed Dec 11th, on Data Science proposal etc.

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms) 3:00 – 5:00 P.M. Livestream here.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

Discusses possibility of move senate and committee elections and appointments to earlier in the year, so we’re not filling seats in the summer. Great idea. Currently the interest survey goes out in April, the proposal is to move it to March. Maybe it should even be Feb.

3:10 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:15 P.M.   [Not President Schill’s] State of the University

  • Janet Woodruff-Borden, Executive Vice Provost

Janet Woodruff-BordenJanet Woodruff-Borden
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Executive support: Suzette Howard

Janet Woodruff-Borden leads the academic and faculty affairs efforts for the Office of the Provost. She oversees issues around curriculum, academic training, professional development, online and hybrid education, and employee and labor relations matters. She previously served as vice provost and dean of the UO Graduate School. She came to UO from the University of Louisville where she was professor of psychological and brain sciences. She held a number of administrative positions throughout her career at Louisville, including director of graduate studies for the clinical psychology doctoral program and associate dean for graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the etiology, developmental psychopathology, and treatment of anxiety disorders. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh.

She has the job formerly held by Scott Pratt. For those who are having trouble keeping up, here are the latest org charts:


Woods: Will there be an attempt to do peer reviewed research on the new teaching evaluations? A: I’m science based, so I expect so. Mentions some possible outcome measures – i.e. better teaching.

3:30 P.M.   New Business

One noteable change:

School of Law
 The following changes to the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree have been approved by the Provost (Effective
fall 2019):
o A maximum of 28 law credits earned outside of the US changed to 57 credits
o 15 law credits earned through Distance Education changed to 28 credits
o No limit for LAW 714 changed to a limit of 14 credits
o No double dipping for Diversity requirement changed to Ok to double dip in Diversity requirement
and either the Writing or Experiential Learning

Report is approved unanimously.

Sorry, I’ve heard this 4 times. It’s much needed and well thought out. If you want to be a troublemaker, ask Joe why they want to make their students take calculus.

Approved unanimously after a full and frank discussion.

No vote this meeting, discussion only. Very positive reception.

  • Intro/Update: Accelerated Masters Programs; Andy Karduna

No vote this meeting, discussion only. Great idea, imho. Senate agrees.

4:30 P.M.    Open Discussion
4:40 P.M.   Reports
4:50 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:55 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Live-blog Full Board meeting, Tu 12/10/2019: $0.1M for Schill, $1M for Cristobal

Disclaimer: My summary of what people said or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The Monday committee meetings are here.

The wrap up (Note: I skipped out before the votes on some of these, but I assume the board rubber-stamped whatever Lillis and Wilhelms put in front of them, as usual):

  1. The board voted 12-0 to spend $100K of other people’s money on a bonus for President Schill – and gave him a retention package with a fat retirement deal – teach two courses a year for $450K. Schill promised to donate $75K back to UO for scholarships.
  2. The board re-elected Charles M. Lillis as Chair to a 3rd term, since no one else will take on the job of being Phil Knight’s amanuensis. Avoided mention of his ERISA lawsuit settlements and the ~$175M he and the other WaMu board members had to pay out after they led it to the largest financial bankruptcy in US history. Video here. “This time they even blamed teachers.”
  3. The board avoided any substantive discussion of what work they might do to carry through with the promises Lillis, Knight, and the other backers of SB270 and UO independence made about stabilizing UO’s funding. As Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
  4. VP’s Jamie Moffitt and Kevin Marbury set the stage for ensuring that ASUO is on board with the next round of tuition increases, and that they will result in only minor student demonstrations and minimal public embarrassment to the Trustees. They also discussed a proposal to offer a guaranteed tuition rate for new students over their 4 years.
  5. The board voted to issue $120M in debt to finish constructing the Athlete Village for Phil Knight’s Oregon21 T&F championships. Bonds to be repaid with higher room and board charges for UO students.

KEZI has a report on Pres Schill’s bonus, here: https://www.kezi.com/content/news/University-of-Oregon-President-to-potentiall-recieve-100K-bonus-566004431.html:

Chair Chuck Lillis and Vice Chair Ginevra Ralph are recommending the approval of the bonus based on Schill’s performance.

“He’s already making $700,000, why does he need that $100,000 bonus?” said student Daisy Caballero.

Schill is actually making $720,000 a year, and the bonus would come just weeks after graduate employees were fighting for basic benefits and a livable wage.  …

The Daily Emerald reports the Board then voted 12-0 for the $100K bonus, of which Schill has generously promised to donate $75K for scholarships.  This will leave him with about $13K after tax, which may not be worth the bad will.

That said our board has done more wasteful things, like voting a few years ago for a contract for the Duck’s Mark Cristobal which so far this year has given him $1M in bonuses to top off his ~$3M pay:

And speaking of philanthropy, while the Duck athletic department’s donations to the Oregon Community Fund Drive are up 50% over last year, that’s off of a $50 base – total, for a department with many, many people making more than $250K.



Full Board of Trustees, Tuesday December 10, 2019 | 9:30 a.m. Live here: https://media.uoregon.edu/channel/

– Public comment (Sorry, I spilled my coffee and missed some of the public comments.)

Former Trustee Kurt Willcox speaks against $100K bonus for Pres Schill noting he is already the 38th highest paid public president. Presided over large tuition increases, a deficit, cuts to LERC and museums, and labor unrest with the GTFF etc.

Grad Student Johnny Saunders walks the board through the history of the $120M residence hall bond deal they are about to approve, referring to previous board minutes and reports commissioned by the board to show that this proposal is motivated by the desire to build an athlete village for the 2021 IAAF meet, not by need for new undergraduate housing. Thanks to Jonny for providing his notes and links:

– Finance and facilities committee meeting, December 2nd, 2015:
page 32
“The findings from the feasibility and market demand study final report clearly state that the university of oregon should […] renovate rather than replace bean, hamilton, or walton. the findings show that the cost of replacement would create prohibitively expensive room and board rates relative to renovation.”

– Still described as ‘hamilton renovation” at meetings on
– December 1st 2016
– December 7th, 2017

– finance and facilities committee june 7th 2018
meeting slides: https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/ffc_6.7.18_meeting_packet.pdf video: https://lib-media.uoregon.edu/media/UOBOT/2018/20180607BOT-FAFC.mp4

-Introduced with no further reports,
– vague nonempirical statements about need for plan
-only tangential reference to feasibility reporty

– two reasons for project presented
housing demand

with reference to the 2011 residence hall feasibility and market demand study:

housing demand:
– feasibility and market demand study estimated 23,198 undergrads in 2021
– for that we would need 5100 total beds
– but currently there are 18,903 undergrads
– should be low/no pressure for housing

– in FFC presentation: ‘we know what housing students want’
– but the feasibility study: “Moreover, the students in the focus groups in the Residence Hall Feasibility and Market Demand Study did not express alarm or disdain over their existing housing. They said the housing is what they expected to live in as freshmen. That the housing was not brand new was of secondary importance.”
– 5/8 of their focus group said cost was the primary reason they chose UO

What changed in the spring of 2018?
– price tag
– end-date of first phase: a new building in summer 2021 instead of a renovated Hamilton in 2022

This board is derelict in its duty to pass this bond.
– Board has not asked why it suddenly costs $500k per new bed
– housing demand is far lower than expected
– cost of attending consistently increases, pricing students out of an education
– student’s in both the board’s focus group and ASUO explicitly say they don’t want this project:
– ASUO statement on tuition increases says too much money spent on giving lavish experience: https://www.oregon.gov/highered/about/Documents/Commission/COMMISSION/2019/13%20June%202019/8.4%20AI%20Final%20Recommendation%20Report%20UO%20tuition%20approval%20request%20updated%206-11-19.pdf
– no additional reports have been given
– no firm details on how much housing fees will increase
– And still pass along an unadvertised potentially double digit percent increase in cost to a generation of UO students

Two members of the OA Council (sorry I missed names) speak to the board about their 2018 climate survey and the issues it raises regarding salary and respect for their work. The OA’s are UO’s core managers, the OA website is here.

Community member David Igl reiterates his well known views on the Dunn denaming and the KKK. Say what you will about Mr. Igl, he is not afraid to speak unpopular and factually questionable views to a hostile audience.

Community member and student Joe Tindhal states that UO is infected by “social justice snowflakes” and “students leave dumber than when they arrive”. He also notes a decline in Star Wars merchandise sales. Given that our board is mostly composed of rich old business people, this seems more directed at the students than the board, and they exercise their First Amendment right to make their disagreement known while respecting his right to speak.

Lillis calls a 5 minute recess.

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports

-ASUO President Sabinna Pierre

Not present.

-University Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

Despite Chuck Lillis’s best hopes the UO Senate survived Harbaugh’s presidency, and with Skowron in charge he will have to find a new excuse for subverting shared governance. She delivers a crisp, fact-based report:

She also arranged meetings with select faculty and the board over lunch. Lillis is eating this stuff up.

2. President’s Report & an Overview of the Last Five Years: President Michael, Schill

Presumably this will be part retrospective, and part supporting material for his next job application.

5 years and he’s late turning it in? Still nothing posted. OK, just got the link, here. How can the board be expected to do its due diligence on his $100K bonus and lucrative retirement deal when they don’t get his brag sheet til the day of the meeting?


Pres Schill notes that it’s 5 years since the UO Board took power. Lots of chaos. Lots of work and money was spent recreating the functions previously done by the OUS board. Schill notes that when he arrived Coltrane could not tell him how many faculty we have. [As union treasurer, I can report that IR still cannot figure that out on a timely basis.]

Gives a shout out to the faculty – careful to include the NTTF/Careers. I wonder if this means he’ll agree to raising their salary floor from $38K for 8 classes a year?

Rebuilt his relationship with the university senate [Is this the part where he gives me some credit? Nope. Good, this would blow my street-cred.]

Replaced UO’s semi-transparent and easily gamed RCM model with BradShelton’s opaque budget model, which centralizes faculty hiring with a committee run by Brad. This will allow UO to move faculty lines from the declining humanities to the sciences. Says this will promote excellence – as measured by Brad Shelton’s metrics, of course.


State funding up substantially – thanks to the state, not UO. Endowment up 37% over 5 years. This seems low – the S&P is up more than 50%. Raised $374M for scholarships – I assume that’s mostly promises. 33% of fund drive money is for athletics. I think that excludes Hayward, etc.


Enrollment, not so good. And no, this slide is not in his report:

Worked with the Senate to redo student evaluations, worked with faculty on new academic programs for undergrads, etc.

Student Access:

Scholarships to Oregonians up by 37%. [But then tuition is up, which offsets much if not all of this.]

Student success:

Gives CAS – but not Andrew Marcus – credit for Tykeson, which so far is a money pit for everyone but Ikea.

Diversity: Lots of window-dressing. Still having problems retaining minority faculty. Need a new VPEI pretty soon, maybe that will help?

Student Experience:

There’s no doubt that the physical environment has improved dramatically since I came here in 1995. E.g. new EMU, paid for by student tax. Not so good for faculty, though I did get window AC for my PLC office, which helps when my students start sweating over calculus questions.

Sexual Violence: We’ve improved services, and GC Kevin Reed has done a great job hiding the sorts of incidents that got President Gottfredson fired. So far.

Athletics: “We’re” going to Rose Bowl, We’ll have a big junket for the Deans and JH senior admins and their spouses so they can recruit students. Sure, that’ll work great.

If you want to see who else took this previous junket, there’s video here and photos here.

For a more sober analysis of the effects of football on enrollment, here’s one of many recent papers:

Colleges and universities face pressure to maintain enrollments in a time of demographic shifts in the college-going population and reductions in state funding. One indicator of successfully maintaining enrollments is the percentage of accepted students who matriculate—the enrollment yield. Factors known to contribute to yield include school size, cost, research, and reputation. Of interest in the present study is the import of academic reputation as measured by U. S. News and World Report rankings and social reputation as measured by designation as a ‘party school’ relative to accomplishments of the school’s high-profile athletic teams. I use a 21 year panel to model yield for all institutions competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. The results show that yield rates consistently respond to USNWR rankings, but being named a party school has a more sporadic influence. Athletic success has little effect on a school’s enrollment yield. The findings suggest that the signals sent by academic rankings are stronger and better received than the signals sent by social or sports accomplishments.

Challenges: Pres Schill comes close to saying out loud that Board has not delivered on the financial stability that was promised. Points out that philanthropy is tricky.

It is. When Phil Knight gave the money for Hayward, Schill could have made sure that he paid to replace the parking and the $2.3M for utility hookups. He didn’t, so now the UO staff and students are stuck with the bills. Very tricky.

Questions from the Board?

Nope. No preparation, no questions, no due diligence.

3. Tuition-Setting Process and Guaranteed Tuition Discussion: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life; Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management

This is the second time around for the tuition guarantee proposal, which is going nowhere for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who read the version three years ago. I assume it’s on the agenda so the trustees can have something that sounds consequential to ask questions about. It’s not, so I’ll skip it – although Thompson is *very* enthusiastic for its potential to help with recruiting. Of course as he suggests – honesty is one of his many charms – it will also eliminate student protests at board meetings over tuition increases, which might be enough to encourage our trustees to kick in the millions that will be needed to implement it.

Bragdon asks why, if this is such a great idea, more schools aren’t doing it. Moffitt explains they are, the presentation just had a short list.

Ralph notes that the last time they heard this presentation Thompson was a lot less positive about it. Why the new enthusiasm? He’s worried the UC system will do it first.

Ford notes that a reserve will be crucial in case of an enrollment decline, or drop in state funding. Asks if the HECC is qualified to evaluate this sort of program. [They certainly are. I’m on the HECC’s SSCM working group, and I’ve found the HECC staff to be quite good. on par with Thompson’s people. Certainly more knowledgeable about higher ed issues than, say, Brad Shelton. ]

Board catches Thompson’s infectious enthusiasm, tells TFAB to start looking at guaranteed tuition.

The real action here is on the TFAB and the coming tuition increases. VP Marbury presents on the state-mandated tuition setting process. For some examples of the propaganda – and lies – that Moffitt and Marbury dish up to our students during this process, check their website here:

OK, so we can’t blame the coaches, so it must be the faculty’s fault. Interestingly, Moffitt and Marbury – or whoever is strategically communicating for them –  are a little confused about whether to blame the faculty union’s labor cartel or free market forces:

They could also blame double-dippers like VP Brad Shelton, who’s now collecting PERS and a fat UO salary. Last year, with SB1049, the legislature decided to make state agencies pay PERS contributions on these salaries, which had been exempt.

Interestingly, the overall impact of PERS this year is a *reduction* in costs, because of reductions in bond costs and because as UO’s Tier 1 employees retire UO no longer has to pay into PERS for them. (Except now while they keep working, as with Shelton or TRP faculty).

Back of the envelope and ignoring the elasticity of demand, a 1% increase in tuition brings in about $750K from in-state students, and about $2.5M from out of state.

So balancing the budget could be done as follows, while keeping the tuition increase to 2%;

    1. $5M saved by eliminating hidden athletic subsidies
    2. $5M saved by dropping baseball, men’s golf and tennis.
    3. $3M saved by reducing the subsidy for law school tuition
    4. $2M saved by reducing consulting costs and getting rid of a few lawyers and strategic communicators.
    5. $6.5M in new revenue from a 2% tuition increase.

That’s more than enough to make the $19M nut.

Needless to say this is not the proposal Moffitt and Marbury will guide the students toward in the next few months of TFAB meetings. Instead UO will push for 4.9% tuition increases, just below the level that triggers HECC review, and they will continue to claim that the athletics budget is untouchable, and that the faculty, state, PERS, and China are to blame for the increases.

Meeting Recessed for Lunch with Students

I’m not sure I’ll live blog the rest of this, video is at https://media.uoregon.edu/channel/ (I didn’t. Enough is enough. See top for summary.)

4. Resolutions and Seconded Motions from Committee (Actions)

4.1 Seconded Motion from FFC – Bond Issuance Authorization: Ross Kari, FFC Chair

4.2 Seconded Motion from EAC – Board Officers: Peter Bragdon, Trustee

4.3 Resolution Re Presidential Bonus and Contract Amendment: Chuck Lillis, Chair

5. Academic Area in Focus – Media Center for Science and Technology: Ellen Peters, Philip H. Knight Chair and Director of the SOJC’s Media Center for Science and Technology

Sorry, but this is just too glossy and self-promoting to take seriously.


OSU lobbyist Jock Mills sends out his last report, with info Angela Wilhelms won’t give the UO trustees on capital funding disaster

Jock Mills has been OSU’s lobbyist for ~20 years. I’ve never met him, but he sends his legislative updates to anyone with an email address – even a @uoregon.edu one – and they are far more informative than anything I’ve ever got from UO’s lobbyists.

He is retiring from lobbying this year – but unfortunately for UO his retirement gig is running an OSU effort to train their students how to lobby for OSU. We are so screwed.

He sent out his final report this evening, here. It’s notable for the things UO did not tell its trustees at their committee meetings today – like the straight story on the HECC capital budget proposal and how bad it is for UO, UO’s plan to lobby with OSU for a law on athlete’s name and likeness legislation, etc: Here is an abbreviated version:

Looking to the 2020 legislative session

Universities will be focused on two major priorities as they approach the 2020 legislative session. First, because the legislature postponed decisions about capital facilities on individual campuses during the 2019 session, the universities seeking commitments of state-financed bonds for capital renewal and/or new buildings on their campuses. During the 2019 session the legislature did approve $65 million in bonding for capital renewal projects. These funds will be distributed among the campuses according to a mutually agreed-upon formula developed by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). But, in synch with the Governor’s recommendation upon entering the 2019 session, the legislature deferred making decisions about individual campus projects, pending the results of what turned out to be a 280-page 10-year strategic capital development plan commissioned by the HECC. The study assessed the long-term campus trends and needs, and in October the HECC approved the plan. Now, HECC staff have incorporated the findings in recommendations to be considered this week. (These issues will be addressed in Capital Construction below.)

Universities are also united in seeking to mend a tarnished image with many legislators, tied to a number of concerns. Chief among them are legislative perceptions of disputes and disagreements among the universities over capital projects and the funding formula the HECC uses to distribute operating funds among the institutions. Other concerns include competition among the universities over what educational programs they may offer, financial accountability, high administrative salaries, low pay for the rank & file, and difficulties students face when seeking to transfer credits from community colleges, advanced placement, and accelerated learning programs. During the session, legislators will be considering a number of bills that could exacerbate or relieve these negative impressions. (These are addressed in Policy Matters, below.)

Capital Construction

During the 2019 session, the legislature committed $946 million of the state’s projected $1.3 billion general fund debt capacity to long term bonds, leaving approximately $315 million (about 25% of the total biennial capacity) for allocation in 2020 to entities that are seeking bond-reliant projects. (The state has available an additional $30.5 million in lottery bonds.)

For the sake of comparison, during the 2017-19 biennium, the legislature allocated $288 million in general fund bonds to projects at the state’s seven public universities. (This figure comprised about 28% of the state’s general fund debt capacity in that biennium.) In November, university presidents joined together in urging the legislature to approve at least that amount during the current biennium. (See: Continue Capital Investments in Public University Infrastructure). If the legislature were to invest a similar proportion of the state’s debt capacity to Oregon’s public university, this figure would be $322.85 million. Considering the $65 million the legislature authorized during the 2019 session, this would leave about $257 million for university projects – IF the legislature devoted the same proportion of the state’s debt capacity to its universities as it did for the last biennium.

This week the HECC will consider a staff-prioritized list of 16 proposed projects from the seven universities. The table below identifies the projects and their rankings.

We anticipate the HECC will ultimately recommend this list, or one similar to it, to the Governor, who then will determine how much of the state’s debt capacity she wants to devote to university projects. The universities are working towards being united in supporting increased capital investments that reflect the HECC’s list. OSU’s legislative efforts over the next three months will be aimed at funding for three capital projects on the list:

    • OSU Cascades Student Success Center: $12.9 million in state bonds, matched by an additional $5 million in student-approved fees (Students have already committed over $1 million in student fees for this project.)
    • Arts & Education Complex: $35 million in state bonds, matched by an additional $35 million in donor and university funds.
    • Cordley Capital Renewal: $28 million state bonds for Cordley Hall Renovation (second phase), matched by an additional $28 million in university bonds.

OSU is providing $68 million in matching funds for the $75.9 million in state bonding capacity that it is seeking – nearly doubling the state’s investments. It is worth noting that $5 million of these matching funds are from student fees approved by OSU Cascades students in a 2017 campus-wide vote. To see the materials we are using with legislators regarding OSU’s capital projects, click here (meant to be folded booklet-style).

Policy Matters

Student Athlete Name, Image Likeness: OSU is working with the University of Oregon and others to assist in the consideration of legislation that would mirror a bill passed in California, and other state legislation that would enable college athletes to seek and receive sponsorships while also ensuring that all college athletes are adequately supported during and after their college careers. For a student perspective on this topic, see: “We are the 100%.”

Betting on College Sports: OSU is working with others to create a state statute that would pre-empt the Oregon Lottery from extending sports betting to include college sports.

Universities will also be active in engaging in legislation that seeks to facilitate the transfer of credits for students as they progress through the education continuum from high school through community colleges and universities. As well, universities will be supporting legislation that would establish and fund health care for part-time faculty who work at multiple campuses.

The Challenge of a Short Session

Quid Pro Quo for Gov. Kate Brown for IAAF 2021’s public funds?

Say it isn’t so:

Call me a believer in self-interest and public choice economics, but I’m starting to wonder what’s in it for Governor Brown as she doubles down on her efforts to get the state to pay for the Oregon21 IAAF championships.  The Oregonian’s Jeff Manning has been on this since the start, and has a recent report giving Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney’s take:

Brown and others in Salem are confident that the Legislature will be supportive enough to give Brown what she needs. That is, unless Senate President Peter Courtney’s ongoing financial concerns gain traction with other lawmakers.

Courtney predicted an enormous wave of additional financial demands as the event comes closer — and afterwards.

“It’ll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars before it’s over,” he said. “I’m telling you right now, we don’t know how much money they’re going to need and we have no idea where the money is coming from.”

Courtney added that he thinks Brown and the World Championships will carry the day, “I’ve lost,” he said. “The event is coming. I just want to know how big the tsunami is going to be.”

In 2018 Manning had this story on UO Foundation Paul Weinhold’s off again on again promises threats to use the Foundation’s $1B endowment to backstop any losses, given an apparently vacillating guarantee from some anonymous donor named Phil Knight that he’d cover any overages.

Weinhold’s problem, of course, is that Knight would prefer that the state pays, and if his commitment is too firm then Gov. Brown’s appeals to the legislature for money start to look even more suspicious. But if it’s too weak, Seb Coe and the IAAF will start to ask for more assurances – i.e. cash up front from Knight, who didn’t get rich from a poor understanding of backwards induction.

Perhaps the legislature will demand to see the guarantee’s Knight has given Weinhold in writing before writing another check with other people’s money.

At the moment, Weinhold seems to have gone back to claiming he’s got a firm guarantee. Christian Hill had the story in the RG this weekend, here, with this from Gov. Brown:

The full state contribution represents about half the nearly $80.9 million budget for the 10-day event, records show.

“I’m confident we will have the resources we need to pull this event off,” Gov. Kate Brown reassured while speaking to reporters after the event’s Oct. 10 kickoff at the University of Oregon. “We have a number of legislators who are, shall we say, all in.”

“All in”. Yes, I suppose that’s one way to say it.

This story came with the picture above, from the RG’s excellent photographer Chris Pietsch, showing Brown at the UO party for the 2019 officials and athletes. I expect this picture is now at the top of the file of the FBI agents that are investigating this whole mess:

Please don’t send me a takedown notice Chris – I’m still a subscriber!



Nike employees protest Salazar, ask for denaming

What would happen if a UO Dean or program Director was to publicly protest a UO policy? It turns out that Nike employees may have more job security than UO’s when it comes to free speech. From Willamette Week, here:

… While the company didn’t interrupt the protest, its loyalists told employees not to speak to the press.

A woman in a camouflage beanie started handing out two flyers prior to the walk: One read, in part, “No employee is permitted to speak with the news media on an Nike-related matter, on any on- or off-the record, without prior approval from Nike Global Communications.”

Nike is of course a private company and not bound by the First Amendment’s prohibition on governmental restrictions on free expression, so it can legally tell its employees not to talk to the press.

UO cannot generally do this by law – but President Schill had his communicator David Austin do it anyway – illegally and in direct violation of UO policy – during Schill’s efforts to defund LERC and the Museums:

More on Schill’s violation of UO’s policies on academic freedom and free speech here. More on Nike’s Joe Paterno Child Care Center’s denaming controversy here.

Live-Blogging: UO Board of Trustees to meet Dec 9 committee meetings

Disclaimer: My summary of what people said or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. This is a bit disorganized but I made it through the entire set of Monday committee meetings, and will be here for the full board meeting at 9:30 AM Tuesday.

The gist of the agenda, with details, links, and live-blogging below.

  1. Re-elect Charles M. Lillis as Chair to a 3rd term, since no one else will take on the job of being Phil Knight’s amanuensis. Avoid mention of his ERISA lawsuit settlements and the ~$175M he and the other WaMu board members had to pay out after they led it to the largest financial bankruptcy in US history. Video here.
  2. Offer President Schill a retention package with a $100K bonus and a fat retirement deal – teach two courses a year for $450K – in the vain hope he won’t use it as proof of how highly his current board values him while shopping around for his next job.
  3. Avoid any substantive discussion of what work our trustees might do to carry through with the promises Lillis, Knight, and the other backers of SB270 and UO independence made about stabilizing UO’s funding. They don’t like to work or think, that’s why they’re using tuition money to pay people like Angela Wilhelms to do it for them.
  4. Thank VPFA Jamie Moffitt for her hard work ensuring that ASUO is on board with the next round of tuition increases, and that they will result in only minor student demonstrations and minimal public embarrassment to the Trustees.
  5. Issue $120M in debt to finish constructing the Athlete Village for Phil Knight’s Oregon21 T&F championships. Bonds to be repaid with higher room and board charges for UO students.

The board’s meetings are open to the public – even faculty and students if they tug the forelock. All sessions are in the Ford Alumni Center Ballroom and are webcast here. Note that the committees meet on Monday, but I’ve put the Full Board agenda for its Tuesday meeting at the top:

Finance and Facilities Committee, December 9, 2019 | 1:15 p.m.

Continue reading

Company that sells course evaluations writes report praising them

How surprising. As reported in InsideHigherEd here:

Student evaluations of teaching, or SETs, can provide a better understanding of what is working and what isn’t in classrooms. But gaining a “meaningful” understanding necessitates separating the “myths and realities” surrounding these evaluations, says a new report on the topic. That, in turn, requires data — lots of data.

So Campus Labs, a higher education assessment firm with 1,400 member campuses, opened its vault to create the new, myth-busting-style report. The study included more than 2.3 million evaluation responses from a dozen two- and four-year institutions that use Campus Labs’ course evaluation system, representing something of a national sample. All were collected in 2016 or later.


Philip Stark, professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of a major 2016 paper demonstrating gender bias in student evaluations, called the Campus Labs report “advertising, not science.”

“It’s particularly bad data analysis, including asking the wrong questions in the first place,” Stark said. Among his more specific criticisms was the lack of control group, conflating when students submitted their evaluations to when they were in class, and “no data on gender, ethnicity, grade expectations, grades or other measures of student performance.”

Based on existing research, “the strongest predictor of evaluations is grade expectations,” he said.

Board uses public listserv to notify public of meeting on new President

That would be the transparent OSU board, which has taken to this simple 1990’s technology with enthusiasm. In contrast UO’s Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms still can not, or will not, email out meeting notices or agendas or post them in usable form. (The UO Matters transparent version of our board’s agenda, with clickable links, clips, and helpful commentary is here.)

From: “Skousen, Lauren” <lauren.skousen@oregonstate.edu>
Subject: [Board-updates] Public Notice: OSU Board of Trustees to meet Dec 13
Date: December 5, 2019 at 11:47:18 AM PST
To: “Skousen, Lauren” <lauren.skousen@oregonstate.edu>

Public Meetings Notice
December 5, 2019

Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees will hold a special board meeting to consider the appointment and employment agreement of Oregon State University’s next president for a term starting on July 1, 2020.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, in the Memorial Union Horizon Room on the OSU Corvallis campus.

The candidate under consideration for appointment will be introduced publicly at the Dec. 13 board meeting. If appointed, the candidate will succeed President Ed Ray, who announced in March that on June 30, 2020, he will step down as president after 17 years of service and join OSU’s teaching faculty.

Following the board meeting, trustees will host a reception in the main lounge of the Memorial Union from 10:45 a.m. to noon to welcome the president-elect. The reception is open to the public.

Action by the board in the meeting will conclude a national presidential search launched last spring with the formation of a 15-member search committee and the holding of community listening sessions to develop a presidential leadership profile to guide the recruitment process. The recruitment included an extensive interview process of candidates that involved the search committee, a broad group of stakeholders and trustees.

“Oregon State’s next president is positioned to lead a distinctive university that enjoys tremendous momentum and provides transformative impact in Oregon, nationally and globally,” said Rani Borkar, chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees. “OSU’s next president will continue to foster a university community that prioritizes diversity and inclusive excellence.”

The meeting is open to the public. The meeting agenda and details are available athttp://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings. The meeting will be live-streamed at https://live.oregonstate.edu/. If special accommodation is required, please contact (541) 737-3449 or lauren.skousen@oregonstate.edu at least 48 hours in advance.

Lauren Skousen | Executive Assistant, Board of Trustees
Board-updates mailing list

To unsubscribe, send a message to:
with the word “unsubscribe” in the body.

Meanwhile, at UO:

From: William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 8, 2019 2:53 PM
To: Angela Wilhelms <wilhelms@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Fwd: [Board-updates] Public Notice: OSU Board of Trustees to meet Nov. 12 – 13

Hi Angela, is there a way I and others can sign up for similar notifications about upcoming UO BoT meetings?

Bill Harbaugh
UO Economics

From: Angela Wilhelms <wilhelms@uoregon.edu>
Subject: RE: [Board-updates] Public Notice: OSU Board of Trustees to meet Nov. 12 – 13
Date: November 8, 2019 at 3:38:32 PM PST
To: William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>

Hi Bill,
Thanks for inquiring. A list-serve is one of the items on my to do list for this academic year. We do not currently have one.

Vin Lananna reinstated as USATF President and CEO

Thanks to a reader for the link. Lananna is the former UO coach who, after UO lost the public bidding for the 2019 Championships to Doha, cut a deal with corrupt IAAF President Lamine Diack for 2021. Links to some previous stories on this are here. Ken Goe has the story on his surprise reinstatement to the USATF job in the Oregonian here.

 … Much of the contention centered around Lananna’s position at the time as president of TrackTown USA. TrackTown USA is the local organizing committee in Eugene responsible for helping USATF stage events such as the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials for Track and Field at Hayward Field, the 2014 World Junior Championships at Hayward Field and the 2016 World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

…  “Everybody should be part of this, not just the elite athletes,” he said. “They’re essential, but they’re not the only thing. I want everyone sharing in the excitement about what is potentially in front of us.”

Greifinger said Lananna’s activist agenda “is the reason so many of us supported Vin the first time around. He gets things done. He is a force of nature for the good of the sport.

He does get things done – like a promise from Kitzhaber and then Brown to spend $40M in taxpayer money for these games, and an agreement from UO that “Any regular University of Oregon staff time spent working on the event would not be charged to Track Town USA,” according to UO documents.

“Issues Management” spokesperson says UO paid professors $170K to avoid inconvenience

12/4/2019 update: Daily Emerald reporter

“For the reasons outlined in the University’s previously filed Answers and the settlement agreements, the University of Oregon and former Dean Christoph Lindner disagree with the plaintiffs’ allegations,” UO spokesperson Kay Jarvis said in a statement about the settlement. “The settlements were made to eliminate the cost and inconvenience of proceeding through trial.”

And President Schill still wonders why people don’t trust him? Come on, we all know Lindner fucked up. Why not have your Issues Management Director write these professors a nice apology, so we can move on.

12/3/2019: UO admin settles discrimination lawsuit for $170K+ costs etc.

No, I’m not talking about Prof Freyd’s gender discrimination lawsuit, this is the age discrimination lawsuit brought against former CoD Dean Christoph Lindner – it seems his email calling for “new blood” cost UO $250K or so. The Faculty Union’s Dave Cecil gets some well-deserved credit, and the end of the statement is worth getting to:


December 3, 2019


Two Architecture Professors this week finalized a settlement of their age discrimination claims against the University of Oregon and former Dean Christoph Lindner. The monetary terms included payment by the University of $170,000 to Professor Warren (Gerry) Gast and Professor Hans Joachim (Hajo) Neis, who sued the University and Lindner for age discrimination and retaliation after an attempt to permanently reassign both professors from their long-standing faculty positions at the Portland campus to the Eugene Campus.

“The principles we stood for in the lawsuit are more important to us than the monetary settlement,” explained Gast. “When a former Dean who had less than one year in his position and no previous experience as a Dean transferred the oldest Portland tenured faculty members and retained younger and adjunct staff without credible justification, we felt we owed it to the program and to our faculty colleagues in the Department of Architecture to take action,” he added.

Both Professor Gast and Professor Neis maintained permanent residences in Portland and enjoyed strong ties to the Portland architecture community. Professor Gast had recently been appointed by the Portland Superintendent of Schools to the Master Plan Committee for Lincoln High School and participated in the successful Bond campaign to raise $790 million for public school reconstruction in Portland.

Professor Neis was the previous director of the Portland Architecture Program for more than seven years and is still the director of the internationally recognized Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab (PUARL), with yearly international conferences, research efforts and projects in Portland, the West Coast and internationally, with current work on the refugee crisis in Europe and its effect on cities, urban life, and housing: https://refugee.uoregon.edu/.

The settlement of the age discrimination and retaliation claims comes after the United Academics successfully resolved grievances for the professors providing for their continued assignment to the Portland campus for at least two years. In addition to the monetary terms, the settlement provides that Neis and Gast retain their ability to bring suit for breach of contract if they are thereafter reassigned to the Eugene Campus. According to Neis, “retaining that right to sue for breach of contract is necessary because our full status in Portland remains officially unresolved.”

“Our personal and professional lives were disrupted for two years while our Grievance and lawsuit played out,” stated Professor Gast. “The graduate courses we normally taught in Portland were subsequently taught by less expensive part-time adjunct faculty,” added Professor Neis. “This is a troubling precedent for a research university,” he said.

“It took two and a half years to reach this result for Gast and Neis,” said Portland Employment Attorney Craig Crispin, who represented them. “I was impressed by my clients’ dedication and persistence in pressing for what they thought was the right thing,” he added. “It was a combined effort with David Cecil of United Academics to achieve justice for our respective clients,” Crispin concluded.

Gast noted that “most disconcerting in our case was our belief that the University made unsubstantiated statements in its response to our lawsuit and complaint before the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. This conduct undermines confidence in the integrity of the University administration.” Both professor Gast and Professor Neis report being satisfied with the settlement of the lawsuit and of their grievance. “We look forward to a new era of more respectful leadership within the College of Design,” Gast noted.




Craig A. Crispin

Crispin Employment Law PC

1834 SW 58th Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97221

Telephone: 503-293-5759



Great moments in economic consulting report writing

Since I teach Econ honors students how to write these, I keep a file of good and bad examples. This is a great one. From the NYT, quoting Portland economist Robert McCullough from his report on the 2018 Camp Fire:

“PG&E’s behavior was unforgivable and totally unnecessary,” said Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Ore. “Moreover, following on the very similar San Bruno incident, management was willfully blind to risks to customers. And, strangely enough, also blind to the risk to stockholders.”

Updates on Prof Jennifer Freyd’s pay discrimination lawsuit

1: The UO administration could have followed the Psychology department head’s advice and given her a $15K raise 4 years ago. But instead the lawyers that run UO wanted a lawsuit. Her department colleagues are now circulating a letter of support, here:

2: A month later, and UO’s lawyer Paula Barran still hasn’t followed through on her threat to send mY ISP a DMCA take-down notice over my posting a clip of her bio sketch:

The Article includes a screenshot of Ms. Barran’s profile on the Barran Liebman LLP website. Barran Liebman LLP has copyrighted the material on its site and does not grant UO Matters the right to use its copyrighted material. If Barran Liebman LLP’s copyrighted material has not been removed from the UO Matters site within five (5) days, my clients will file a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Presumably her lawyer explained to his “Top Point Getter” client that the fair-use copyright exemption includes parody:

3: Speaking of parody, Barran, Zaerpoor Le, and Bonner have finally filed UO’s response to Freyd’s appeal in the Ninth Circuit, here. Barran has, sensibly, dropped her Kubrickesque rants about “bodily fluids”. Now they are “biological samples”:

4: Meanwhile, Barran convinced the Honorable Judge McShane to make Prof Freyd pay President Schill $3,537.15 in court costs, and the University of Oregon and Hal Sadofsky $7,145.12. Ruling here. Last time GC Kevin Reed did this, in the Bowl of Dick’s case, he paid HLGR’s Bill Gary about $50K to get UO’s costs reduced by about $12K. I’m not sure how many billable hours Barran collected from UO for this, but these things aren’t about the money, they’re about using institutional power to intimidate potential plaintiffs from filing discrimination lawsuits.

5: Barran also seems to have dropped her claim that one of the comparator faculty Freyd identified was better than Freyd because “he just secured – while this case was pending – a $3 million grant from the Gates Foundation for his work.”

That wasn’t true. The Gates Foundation is admirably transparent:

The truth, corroborated by an email from Prof. Allen, is this:

He was a co-investigator on a grant from the Gates Foundation, but the grant was obtained by colleagues at Berkeley. He had a small subcontract. He also noted that the grant had very little to do with the digital sensing work.

I’m sure I’m going to get a grateful letter from Barran, or her attorneys, thanking me for pointing out these problems with her prior arguments.

6: The real problem with Barran’s brief is that it reiterates the UO administration and President Schill’s argument, which McShane’s opinion accepted whole-hog, that professors’ jobs are not just different, but so impossible to compare that no female professor will ever be able to identify comparator male professors, and therefore will never be able to win a gender discrimination lawsuit. I’m guessing this is not what the Congress had in mind when they wrote the law against gender discrimination.

Provost Patrick Phillips, Absinthe, and Holiday Shopping at the Faculty Club

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club is open during the usual hours this week (Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00).

Wednesday, Provost Patrick Phillips will be on hand to chat informally with faculty and to deliver the Six-o-Clock Toast.  If you’ve known him for years, it’ll be a fine time to check in and see how he’s doing…. and if you’ve not met him yet, it’s a great opportunity to see “what makes him tick.”

Also on Wednesday, the JSMA museum shop, just a few yards from our Faculty Club room, has offered a 10% discount on books, jewelry and all the other things they sell.  Why not get a jump on holiday shopping while hob-nobbing with your colleagues?

Thursday evening we have our last gathering of 2019 (we’ll close for break and re-open in week two of the Winter Term).  The bartenders have devised a special seasonal cocktail to close out the fall; called the “Foggy John,” it’s a delectable mix of absinthe, gin, Cointreau and tonic.  So whether you’re curious about absinthe, aka “the green fairy,” or just resolved to get down to Faculty Club before the year’s over, please join us!

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board