UO Trustee Connie Ballmer in the NYT, on why she donated $20M to encourage students to go to college

From a David Leonhardt piece here:

“You hear people say, ‘Well, a four-year degree isn’t needed,’ ” Connie Ballmer, the philanthropist and wife of the former Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, recently told me.

“But then if you turn to them and say, ‘What do you want for your child?’ they wouldn’t dream of not having their kid go to a four-year college,” she continued. “They said it’s not needed — but they need it.”

Ballmer is right. The boomlet of skepticism about college comes disproportionately from upper-middle-class people who have the luxury of airing hypothetical concerns about education, without having to worry that their own children will be influenced by them. Yet the misplaced skepticism can do real damage to poor and working-class teenagers who hear it and take it seriously.

The evidence remains overwhelming: College is the single most reliable path to the middle class and beyond. No, it doesn’t guarantee a good life. Nothing does. But earning a good living without a college degree today is difficult.

College graduates earn vastly more and are far more likely to be employed. They live longer, are more likely to be married and are more satisfied on average with their lives. These relationships appear to be at least partly causal, too. If you want more details, you can read some of my previous columns or dig into a long trail of academic studies. …


Department of disagreement. A good example of skepticism about college is an op-ed that ran in The Times this week, called, “College May Not Be Worth It Anymore,” by Ellen Ruppel Shell, a Boston University professor of journalism. I disagree with it, for all the reasons mentioned above. More important, the authors of the research cited in the piece disagree with it.

One of them, Tim Bartik, an economist at the Upjohn Institute, wrote on Twitter: “It draws the wrong conclusions from our work, and omits some important findings.” He wrote a series of tweets with further explanation.

The research by Bartik and his colleague Brad Hershbein finds huge returns on four-year college degrees for all students, including those from lower-income families. For a typical student, a degree is worth about $500,000.

Deans behaving badly on CAS Assoc Dean, CoD Head appointments

Rumor has it that CAS Dean Andrew Marcus will appoint Carol Stabile (WGS) to a newly created position of Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion. From what I can tell there was no open search or apparently any consideration of other candidates, and no position announcement or job description was ever posted.

This is a terrible way to fill a job like this – it’s against shared governance, against the principle of open searches instead of insider deals, and it does a disservice to Stabile, who is returning from a year at UMD and will now start the job under a cloud. A group of faculty has already written Marcus in protest.

Back in the day Affirmative Action and Equality Opportunity insisted on transparency for jobs like this, which would be posted online with the heading “internal candidates only”, so that everyone interested would at least be able to submit an application. When Provost Linda Brady failed to do this, for a search for a VP for Institutional Diversity, Federal Judge Thomas Coffin ordered her to explain. (Doc 32).

Meanwhile, CoD Dean Christoph Lindner has sent the following email around to his faculty:

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to update you and invite your input on the selection of the new Head of the School of Architecture & Environment.

First, I want to thank all of the faculty who wrote nominations for this important leadership role.

At this time, I have had a chance to meet with all nominees. I have also met with the SAE leadership team to hear their views and recommendations, and I have consulted with the College leadership team, comprised of the other School Heads, to get their feedback. Before making a decision on the appointment, I want to invite the faculty in SAE to share their feedback on key characteristics, skills, and expertise the new School Head should have. It is important for me to understand what you value in this position and what you see as high priorities for the School going forward.

Please write to me directly with your feedback before noon on Friday, May 18. I will move forward with an appointment after carefully considering all faculty feedback.

The School of Architecture & Environment is a uniquely talented community. I am excited by the strengths of the individual departments and programs in SAE and remain immensely optimistic about the potential of what we can achieve when we bring those strengths together. I look forward to receiving your advice on the appointment of the new School Head.


Christoph Lindner
Dean and Professor

I don’t see that this job was ever posted either, and rumor has it that the fix is already in, but at least he’s making a pretense of consultation.

Librarians crush Bach Festival in early Ducks Give results

With only 9 minutes in on this 24 hour altruism challenge, your $19M contribution to really old music could make the difference!

Or if you’re not into the books v. music war, you could go here, click the “I want to view additional options” and donate to SAIL, which will spend your money on UO summer camps to encourage low income first generation students to go to college, and give them some money to eat  in Carson with the other students if they do.

I don’t know why this dollar challenge doesn’t include a direct link for SAIL, like Duck athletics gets for donations to subsidize their coaches salaries:

Dana Altman & Kevin Reed’s bête noire Kenny Jacoby wins Scripps Howard fellowship, will spend year reporting from DC

UO Daily Emerald reporter Kenny Jacoby’s work for the Daily Emerald and SI on various Duck sports scandals is documented here.

In 2016, as reported in the Emerald, efforts by the Duck Athletic Department to limit student-athletes’ access to the press in potential violation of UO policies on academic freedom and free speech, led the Senate leadership to call for an investigation:

The University of Oregon Senate issued a request on Sunday to launch an investigation into a possible free speech violation by the UO Athletic Department regarding its threat to limit Emerald press credentials during an investigation of a UO football player. The request called for UO General Counsel Kevin Reed to initiate the investigation. …

More on the Senate’s call and the resulting report from Kevin Reed here.

The Scripps Howard announcement is here. One of the other winners is a Harvard Law grad and Rhodes Scholar, if you’re into that sort of thing:

CINCINNATI – The Scripps Howard Foundation has selected four journalists for the inaugural class of its Scripps Howard Fellowship program.

The Scripps Howard Fellows were selected from more than 540 applicants to complete the yearlong program, which will run from June 2018 through May 2019.

The fellowship is offered in partnership with ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom in New York City, and with the Scripps Washington Bureau and Newsy, Scripps’ next-generation national news network, in the nation’s capital.

“Since our founding, the Scripps Howard Foundation has made it our mission to develop the next generation of leaders in journalism,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “We believe this program will help these journalists continue to develop the skills needed to uncover the stories that shape our communities as well as the qualities needed to lead effectively.”

The 2018-2019 Scripps Howard Fellows:

Aysha Bagchi: A 2017 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, Bagchi’s interest in journalism was sparked by her experiences writing for The Stanford Daily as an undergraduate student. Bagchi will work in the Scripps Washington Bureau and with Newsy.

Barbara Marcolini: An associate video producer at The New York Times, Marcolini is a 2017 graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She received a bachelor’s degree from Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro and holds certificates in data journalism and entrepreneurial journalism. Marcolini will work at ProPublica.

Kenny Jacoby: Currently working as a freelance reporter, Jacoby is an award-winning journalist whose work has been recognized by the nonprofit organization Investigative Reporters and Editors. A 2017 graduate of the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he has written investigative stories for Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, NBC and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jacoby will work in the Scripps Washington Bureau and with Newsy.

Sophie Chou: A data journalist at Public Radio International in Boston, Chou received her master’s degree in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Columbia University. She previously served as a researcher for the Pew Research Center via a fellowship with Google News. Chou will work at ProPublica.

The Fellows will spend the year working side by side with reporters and editorial leaders in those two newsrooms. They also will participate in exclusive off-site sessions focused on building leadership, project management and entrepreneurial skills.

Shaun Harper: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race

Harper has done work on a variety of topics on race and higher education, including athletics. Scholar page here, more on talk here. This talk was organized by the English Dept’s Avinnash Tiwari.

Shaun Harper – UO African American Workshop and Lecture Series

Monday, May 14
Public Lecture: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race
Giustina Ballroom, Ford Alumni Center
4:30 pm

Teach-In: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race in the Classroom, for faculty and students with limited space.
Lease Crutcher Lewis Room, EMU
Monday, May 14, Noon – 1:30pm

On behalf of the ENG Diversity Committee and in collaboration with the Division of Equity and Inclusion, we’d like to invite you to join us for two events on 14 May with Shaun R. Harper.

Dr. Harper is the Provost Professor in the Rossier School of Education and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He also is the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center, and immediate past president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Senate to meet Wed on learning, multicultural, teaching, diff tuition



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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
  • Update from Johnson Hall

3:20 P.M. Approval of Minutes, April 25, 2018

3:35 P.M.   Business

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

UO Foundation submits permit to demolish Hayward Field

I’m still not sure why the UO Foundation didn’t just hire the kids who burnt down Civic. Maybe former Chief Compliance Office Erika Funk – already mostly erased from their website – raised some objections. In any case the city has apparently already approved accepted the demo permit as ready to review, here:

So it won’t be long before we’ve all got this giant dildo to look at:

Today: Dana Altman to introduce Harry Edwards at sports and free speech event

4PM today at the Alumni Center. The panelists will include former journalism dean and noted transparency opponent Tim Gleason – currently making ~$100K a year off the unpaid labor of UO’s student-athletes as UO’s NCAA “Faculty” Athletics Representative – and Prof Curtis Austin (History).

Austin was the most interesting speaker at Pres Schill’s denaming town hall last quarter, so I’m hoping someone will attend this and send a report – I’ve got a conflict of commitment.

Around the O has the story here:

On May 8, the Lundquist College of Business’ Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will host a day of discussion and dialogue around the history and legacy of activism in sports, the effects of activism on the business ecosystem around sport, and the way athletes today view their opportunities and responsibilities.

Activism within sport remains a lightning rod for controversy due to its high-profile nature. Topics ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to National Anthem protests, gender-inclusive restrooms and silenced sexual violence have dominated the headlines this past year.

Harry Edwards — the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which led to the Black Power salute protest by two African-American athletes at the 1968 Summer Olympics — will deliver the keynote address in the Ford Alumni Center’s Giustina Ballroom at 4 p.m.

Edwards is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. The New York Times has said of Edwards that “no other single figure in sports has done as much to make the country aware that the problems of the larger culture are recapitulated in sports.”

Just kidding about Dana Altman though. His position on free speech by unpaid student-athletes is well known, and in complete opposition to Prof Edwards’s life work:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

As the Oregonian explains, our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor. Fortunately we’ve still got people who hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR guy Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.03.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.11.18 PM

Senate voting closes noon Friday

Dear Campus Community,
If you have not yet voted for your representatives on the University Senate or elected university committees, please take a few minutes to do so. Voting closes at noon on Friday, May 11.
We know there is a lot going on, but this election is important to shared governance at the UO. It will only take a few minutes and is very easy. Simply log into Duckweb and select “University Elections” on the main menu to make your selections by noon on Friday.
The system is set up so that you can only vote for positions/candidates within your respective constituency group. If you’d like to see a full list of candidates and all open positions, you can do so on the 2018 Election page of the Senate’s website.
If you have any questions about the election, please contact the statutory faculty coordinator, Angela Wilhelms, at wilhelms@uoregon.edu or the Senate’s executive coordinator, Betina Lynn, at senatecoordinateor@uoregon.edu.
Chris Sinclair
University Senate President
Professor of Mathematics
Bill Harbaugh
University Senate VP and President-Elect
Professor of Economics

Library committee starts contest for art to counter insipid, racist mission statement

5/7/2018 update: Because the best response to speech you hate is more speech. The Daily Emerald has the story here. The website for the contest is here:

The University of Oregon Libraries invites UO students to participate in a juried art exhibition that will showcase creative expressions of the culture we aspire to have.

Deadline to submit work: August 10, 2018

The exhibit will take place in Knight Library, October 15, 2018 – March 15, 2019.

This exhibit is part of the continuing dialogue of how we can strive for an inclusive environment while preserving evidence of a past which speaks to the contrary. Art can be a powerful force for empowerment and change.

For this exhibit, we are seeking original works of art that express an inclusive, respectful culture that counters the world view depicted in the Knight Library murals. We invite participants to contribute works of art that reflect on issues of identity, gender and race equality, age, sexual orientation, ability, social justice, and privilege. …

What a great idea. $1350 in prize money.

12/7/2017: Students want to remove insipid, racist UO Mission Statement from library wall

The Daily Emerald has the story here:

The change.org petition is here. It focuses on the part about “… conservation and betterment … of our racial heritage…”, which at the time was the language of eugenics, racist immigration policies, and forced sterilization –  the death camps came soon after. Personally, I’m in favor of leaving the thing up as a warning to our students and the future, but only after giving UO’s History and English faculty a crack at it with a ladder and a fat red marker. Here’s my attempt:

Update: More about the history of Sociology at UO, none of it unkind to Prof Young, here.

Eager frat boys jump on First Amendment right to make fools of themselves

I’m thinking this is not quite what Pres Schill had in mind when he spent ~$100K on lectures to promote free speech. The Daily Emerald’s Ryan Nguyen and Michael Tobin have the report here:

The University of Oregon Phi Kappa Psi chapter has been temporarily suspended after a defamatory document printed with the fraternity’s name and the names of many of its members’ surfaced.

The 32-page document, which the Emerald obtained on Sunday, contains a list of the names of UO Phi Kappa Psi members followed by questions for each member. The questions contain anti-gay slurs, rape jokes, references to illegal drug use and derogatory language directed at women. The front page is labeled “Brothers of Phi Kappa Psi.” …

UO’s investigation will include interviews with a random sample of new and current fraternity members, said assistant Dean of Students Marcus Langford. Using that information, a third-party investigator and the university will determine whether the chapter violated the UO Student Conduct Code.

The Emerald story includes a link to the document, albeit with the names redacted. Some excerpts:

  • “I hear you’re a Patriots fan, Are you actually from New England or are you just a fag?”
  • “Do you fuck 2s every weekend to convince yourself that you’re not gay?”
  • “what’s up faggot? Who have you gotten more nuts from this year, twitter sluts or your girlfriend?”
  • “Does a girl run your snapchat account or are you really that gay?”
  • “What’s it like to lose your girl to a bisexual male cheerleader?”
  • “Did [redacted] actually rape you or are you too embarrassed to admit that you willingly fucked her?”
  • “Do you enjoy banging 3s or are you just too blind to tell that they’re beat?”
  • “How many times have you had to expand your tinder radius to find a new whore to fuck?”
  • “Can i have your sisters phone number? She’s just so fucking hot. How do you think she’d look on my dorm bed?”
  • Do you get blacked out so often so the the 4’s you hook up with seem hotter?
  • “How many schools have you shot up?”
  • “How many copies of Mein Kampf do you own?”
  • “What’s higher, your grade point average or the points of molly you take at parties?”
  • “Can you go one week without doing something utterly retarded?”
  • “Who’s a softer pledge master, you or [name redacted]?”

All evidence for a powerful but sometimes unappreciated argument for campus free speech – it helps people understand just what they’re up against.

VP for Communication Kyle Henley still uncommunicative on “brand awareness” contract


From: pubrec@uoregon.edu
Subject: Public Records Request 2018-PRR-370
Date: May 8, 2018 at 4:25:54 PM PDT
To: wtharbaugh@gmail.com


Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

Records responsive to your request, made 5/2/2018, for “copies of any proposals submitted to RFQ for Brand Awareness Study…” are exempt under 192.355(9), as an award has not yet been made. As such, the University does not possess any records responsive to your request for “…any ensuing contract”.

You may seek review of the public body’s determination pursuant to ORS 192.411, 192.415, 192.418, 192.422, 192.427 and 192.431.

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Office of Public Records
6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541) 346-6823 | pubrec@uoregon.edu

5/3/2018 update: More than a month now. Maybe another public records request will shake something loose from Henley:

Begin forwarded message:
From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: PR request attempt #2 for Brand Awareness Study proposals and contract
Date: May 2, 2018 at 8:26:07 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Kyle Henley <khenley@uoregon.edu>, gshabram@uoregon.edu

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for copies of any proposals submitted in response to
RFQ for Brand Awareness Study
University Communications, University Communications > Digital Communications, and Purchasing & Contracting Services
PCS# 520200-00134-RFQ
Which closed on Dec 22 2017.
And any ensuing contract.
I will post these on the internet at a site frequently visited by journalists and others interested in UO matters, and I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.
I’m ccing VP for Comm Kyle Henley, as he should have these documents readily at hand and is well compensated for helping UO communicate with the public.

Bill Harbaugh

4/24/2018 update:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

The University has searched for, but was unable to locate, records responsive to your request. The office has been informed that this RFP is in progress but has not yet been awarded.

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Office of Public Records


Huh? “unable to locate” proposals?

20 21 22 23 24 25 days and counting for a response from Mr. Henley to this public records request:

Requester: Harbaugh, Bill
Organization:  Private
Initial Request Date: 03/30/2018
Status:  Requesting/Reviewing Records

This is a public records request for copies of any proposals submitted in response to RFQ for Brand Awareness Study – University Communications, University Communications > Digital Communications, Purchasing & Contracting Services PCS #520200-00134-RFQ which closed on Dec 22 2017.

I will post these on the internet at a site frequently visited by journalists and others interested in UO matters, and I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I’m ccing VP for Comm Kyle Henley, as he should have these documents readily at hand, and is well compensated for helping UO communicate with the public.

Request ID: 2018-PRR-344

What’s this about? Henley needs to show the Board and President Schill that all the money he has spent on branding and communications – money which could have been spent on teaching, research, and scholarships for our students – has increased “brand awareness”:

Given UO’s falling enrollment numbers and the unremarkable google trends data for UO’s brand under Henley’s watch, this will be a difficult task. Presumably the winning brand consultants will be well paid for some creative spin that makes this look good:




Grad School’s Three-Minute Thesis competition is back! May 11

I’m a little bitter I didn’t get invited to be a judge this year, but I’m going to take the high road and post this announcement anyway:

All are invited to come to the UO Graduate School’s Graduate Student Research Forum on Friday, May 11 in and around the EMU Ballroom, between 10 am and 4 pm.

The Forum is FULL of fabulous grad student research presentations (posters, symposia, and “3-Minute Thesis” micro talks). Three Minute Thesis preliminary rounds are 10-11:30 with the hotly contested finals at 2:00. The poster session runs from 12-2, and includes a sandwich lunch for those in attendance. Symposia happen from 10-11; 11:15-12:15; and 12:45-1:45.

This year, instead of a paper program, all the details about who is presenting when can be found by downloading a program app here. Use your UO email address when signing up with the event invitation code usrhl. The link to the app can also be found on the Grad Forum webpage:  https://gradforum.uoregon.edu/