… and then they came for the bassoonists …

Update: More Bach news in the EW from Bob Keefer, who has uncovered a 2016 firing of a Matthew Halls ally by Director Janelle McCoy, here:

… In an Aug. 11, 2016, email to Doug Blandy, then the UO’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, McCoy wrote: “I believe I mentioned that Matthew and I had met before I canceled her contract. He now maintains that I misled him in that discussion and this is a personality difference between me and Linda.” The subject line of the email was “Warning — Matthew may be calling.”

Since the Halls firing in August, McCoy has referred most media questions to Tobin Klinger, the university’s senior spokesman. When EW asked them both for comment on the Ackerman case, Klinger replied, “We wouldn’t be able to comment on personnel matters.” …

Really Klinger? And yet you comment on personnel matters all the time. Not to mention student matters. And reporters. And Senators. You just don’t comment on them competently:

11/21/2017: The British press had a spot of fun mocking Americans’ obsession with political correctness over the Oregon Bach Festival’s decision to fire british conductor Matthew Halls for a joke about grits. Here’s the Spectator from September:

… The conversation involved Mobley complaining that a performance he had recently given in England had a certain ‘antebellum’ feel to it. Halls apparently apologised on behalf of England and added, in a humorous deep South accent: ‘Do you want some grits?’ The stupid woman heard this and later asked Mobley if he felt he had been the victim of a racist slight. The astonished singer replied, of course not, it was harmless joke between friends. I am not sure what level on the official SJW Cretin Scale you would need to be to find such a comment racist. Fairly high up, I think. Anyway, learning of his friend’s peremptory sacking, Mobley was furious, insisting that Halls had been victimised. Mobley was not invited to give his views of the matter to the university, by the way. But Oregon University [sic] still refuses to say why Halls was sacked, on one occasion suggesting that his removal may or may not have been connected to this ludicrous allegation of racism, and on a later occasion (anonymously) saying it was nothing to do with it. …

But it turns out the British are not immune from PC fever. Here’s The Telegraph:

Royal Academy of Music sacks lecturer over student guide that referred to string players as ‘pond life’ and violinists as ‘gypos’

Dr Francesca Carpos was dismissed last week from her post with the prestigious Royal Academy of Music after her note on how to earn a “good reputation” backfired spectacularly.

The note emailed to 800 students last week contained a glossary of terms that included a reference to violinists as “gypos”, a derogatory term for gypsies. It also advised students to “be discreet” and that “what’s on tour stays on tour”.

Dr Carpos, 58, a professional bassoon player, has been left shell-shocked by her sacking and, according to friends, is considering suing the Royal Academy of Music, whose patron is the Queen and whose president is the Duchess of Gloucester and vice president is Sir Elton John, a former pupil.

ASUO and Senate presidents: Pres Schill’s response to protest misguided

Sorry, this is from the weekend, just catching up. ASUO President Amy Schenk’s Op-Ed was posted Saturday, along with a report from Saul Hubbard, “Backlash grows as UO pursues conduct charges for students who disrupted a Schill speech“.

From Schenk:

On Oct. 23, University of Oregon President Michael Schill wrote an op-ed in The New York Times headlined “The misguided student crusade against fascism.” His column was a reproach directed toward the students who protested his state-of-the-university speech.

Schill condemned the protesters for supposedly stealing his right to free speech. He claimed that their actions exclude potential allies and portrayed himself as one of the student body’s strongest supporters, but chose not to respond to the students’ original concerns.

Instead, the essay was a way for Schill to publicly misrepresent the beliefs of the protesters, his own students. The result was a contradictory, repetitious testimony that juxtaposed Schill’s support of “free speech” and his simultaneous disapproval of student protests. …

We urge President Schill to invite these students in and work with them rather than publicly shaming them in a newspaper column filled with half-truths and mischaracterizations. He should take this as a sign that it is time to collaborate with students rather than punishing them with a vague student conduct code. At an institution of higher education, it is vital that student voices are included, not ignored.

My impression is that Pres Schill is indeed now trying to do that. From Hubbard:

The University of Oregon’s administration is facing growing backlash over its decision to pursue student conduct charges against a group of protesters who disrupted a speech by UO President Michael Schill last month.

The peaceful protest — about rising tuition costs and seeking a ban on white nationalist groups on campus, among other grievances — caused Schill to abandon his planned address.

Student and faculty leaders are increasingly speaking out against the disciplinary move, which they characterize as divisive and futile.

The University Senate is considering a symbolic resolution calling for the charges to be dropped, and it has “pretty broad support” among faculty and student members, Senate President Chris Sinclair said Friday. …

UO drops Facebook click charge against student collective member

11/21/2017: 

That’s the decision of the “Associate Director for Investigations, Group Accountability, Student Conduct and Community Standards”. But the administration continues to press charges against other students. The Senate will debate a plea for leniency at its Nov 29th meeting. Reporter Casey Crowley has the story in the Emerald:

… At her Administrative Conference with Katy Larkin, associate director for investigations, group accountability, student conduct and community standards, Loustaunau presented Larkin with evidence that showed that Loustaunau was not at the protest.

This evidence includes: screenshots of a Skype call from the time and date of the protest, screenshots of two texts that suggest she did not come to the UO campus that day until after the protest was over, a letter from her friend who she was on the Skype call with, a letter from her advisor and head of the sociology department who attended the protest and confirmed that Loustaunau was not there, and pictures of herself from the day of the protest, according to Loustaunau. In addition, her friend who she was on the Skype call with her confirmed over the phone that he was on Skype with Loustaunau at the time of the protest.

Larkin used Loustaunau’s indication of “going” on a Facebook event for the protest as well as photos from the protest of a woman she thought was Loustaunau and Loustaunau’s Facebook profile picture to decide to charge her with conduct code violations, according to Loustaunau. …

11/3/2017:  Facebook click led UO to charge grad student with disrupting Schill’s speech

Just when you thought the UO administration’s response to the student protest couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it does. Daily Emerald reporter Casey Crowley has the latest:

A University of Oregon student who was charged with student conduct code violations for participating in a demonstration on Oct. 6 says she was not at the protest.

… “This is what I found particularly problematic, I did put attending on a Facebook event,” said [the UO grad student]. “Like everyone, I get sent a bunch of events. I put ‘attending’ to most of them randomly.”

So it seems that UO is paying staff (UOPD? DoS? VP for Communication?) to monitor the UO Student Collective’s Facebook site, and they used this student’s click mark to decide that she’d disrupted President Schill’s right to speak. Then they sent her a discipline letter. More from Crowley’s report:

In order to identify students to charge with conduct code violations, the conduct office looked at photos, videos and social media activity that was available, [UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger] said.

[The student] said she will contest the charges and go through an administrative conference, where she can present information so that the conduct office has a full understanding of the situation.

Presumably this also explains how Klinger was able to make his prejudicial statement to the Oregonian that  “.. the demonstration actually violated university policy…” just 5 minutes after the protest ended. He knew the students were guilty, because he’d already read it on Facebook. This might raise a few entrapment issues?

I’ve read about thought-crime, and I saw a movie about pre-crime, but leave it to the UO administration to charge a student with the latest: Facebook-crime.

For the curious, here’s the UO Student Collective’s Facebook page. This may cost me my tenure, but I just clicked the “Like” box:

Students are better off with higher tuition & higher quality

Earlier this year the Oregon legislature agreed to increase spending on higher education, so long as universities agree to cut tuition increases. This latest working paper shows that it might have been better for our students – in terms of completion and time to degree – if UO had been free to spend the state money on improving advising and teaching instead:

The Impact of Price Caps and Spending Cuts on U.S. Postsecondary Attainment

David J. DemingChristopher R. Walters

NBER Working Paper No. 23736
Issued in August 2017
NBER Program(s):EDLSPEPR

Increasing the postsecondary attainment rate of college-age youth is an important economic priority in the U.S. and in other developed countries. Yet little is known about whether different forms of public subsidy can increase degree completion. In this paper, we compare the impact of the marginal taxpayer dollar on postsecondary attainment when it is spent on lowering tuition prices versus increasing the quality of the college experience. We do so by estimating the causal impact of changes in tuition and spending on enrollment and degree completion in U.S. public postsecondary institutions between 1990 and 2013. We estimate these impacts using a newly assembled data set of legislative tuition caps and freezes, combined with variation in exposure to state budget shocks that is driven by differences in historical reliance on state appropriations. We find large impacts of spending on enrollment and degree completion. In contrast, we find no impact of price changes. Our estimates suggest that spending increases are more effective per-dollar than price cuts as a means of increasing postsecondary attainment.

Remember the Hat Day: November 21

I think nostalgia for Lariviere peaked under Mike Gottfredson, and has fallen to historical lows under Mike Schill. Here’s the post from 2015, with a few updates:

Break out your hats and mark the day. On November 21st 2011, three four five six years and four five UO presidents ago, OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner and Board Chair Matt Donegan came down to UO with their ultimatum and told Lariviere to resign, for trying to implement his “New Partnership” plan to combine $1B in state bonds and $800M in private donations to create a sustainable funding model for UO, run by an independent UO Board. The endowment income would have, in theory, produced enough income to more than replace the state’s annual appropriations, and have allowed UO to keep in-state tuition low.

He also ignored the governor’s call for a pay freeze, and passed out a round of secret raises to faculty and staff. Lariviere refused to leave, so they fired him, on instructions from Governor Kitzhaber. Nigel Jaquiss broke the news on the 22nd.

Six years later, where are the principals in this sad event?

UO President Richard Lariviere: Now president of Chicago’s Field Museum, and apparently well on his way to completing a turnaround of that troubled institution.

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Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber: Resigned after getting caught trying to destroy his email archives, and found guilty of violations of Oregon ethics law.

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OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner: Still living at Treetops and using Oregon students’ tuition money to pay for his kids’ maid service. Just kidding, the croissant chancellor went on to a $300K sinecure as president of SHEEO, a little known non-profit higher ed policy group in Colorado. He’s now retired from that, and is on the board at Bridgeport, a scandal ridden for-profit university system.

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OUS Board Chair Matt Donegan: After a very nasty divorce he sold his timber business, then sent out some feelers on restarting his political career. The response was not good, and he’s dropped out of public life to work on counting his money.

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(Bridget Burns and Chuck Triplett at the 2011 Mac Court meeting.)

OUS Board Secretary Chuck Triplett: Triplett’s role in setting up the secret discussions that led to the board’s decision to fire Lariviere may never be fully known, unless I can get my hands on the OUS digital email archives. Meanwhile he has parlayed his $72K job for Pernsteiner into a $130K job for UO, and then a promotion from Scott Coltrane. All without an affirmative action compliant search. He’s currently JH liason to the UO Senate – an appointment made without consulting the Senate with which he is supposed to liase. He’s currently UO liason to the HECC, the putative replacement to OUS.

Pernsteiner’s Chief of Staff Bridget Burns: She and Triplett were quite the team. After OUS collapsed she set up a consulting business, which just got a $9.8M grant from the DoE. According to her website,

… she led the successful legislative effort to free Oregon’€™s seven universities from state agency status, for which she received the national award for innovation in government relations from colleagues spanning the national higher education landscape at AASCU, APLU, AACC, and CASE.

Wow, and to think Mark Haas and Mike Gottfredson have been claiming all the credit for SB 270.

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UO Senate President, Protector and Defender of the University, Slayer of Chancellors, and Professor of Music Robert Kyr: “Mr. Pernsteiner, answer the question as a human being would answer it.”

Kyr is now back at his regular job, composing and teaching music theory.

Desperate Willie Taggart calls on UO Senate & Math Prof for coaching help

Duck Football Coach Willie Taggart

UO Math Prof & Senate Pres Chris Sinclair

Things have not gone well for Coach Taggart since arriving at UO. He’s 5-5, and one of those wins was a body-bag game against Southern Utah that cost UO $500,000. He needs to win one of the next two games to get a $25K bonus, and both to get $100K, to top off his $8,000 per calendar day base salary:

Full contract here. Fortunately, UO Senate President and Associate Math Professor Chris Sinclair is an expert on solving problems involving charging the defensive lines. Rumor down at the faculty club is that Taggart has offered Sinclair 50% of any bonus to “guest coach” for the Ducks this weekend. Apparently game-day will start with Sinclair giving the Ducks a locker room seminar on “A Solvable Mixed Charge Ensemble”.

Doug Blandy fired Bach Fest director Halls despite AAEO Director’s advice

11/14/2017:

Saul Hubbard has the latest in the RG here:

… The document does, however, show a split between the university’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity and McCoy over how to reprimand Halls, an independent contractor who had just been given a multi-year extension and a raise.

After two initial complaints in July, Cherie Scricca, an outside consultant working for the UO, recommended that school officials meet with Halls to discuss the school’s non-discrimination policies and that they update his contract to include “written expectations of proper behavior including equal and fair treatment of festival participants regardless of race, national origin, age, disability.”

Scricca also suggested that written notice be added to Halls contract that, if he did not meet those expectations, his contract could be immediately terminated, and that the festival would hire an “understudy” artistic director who could replace him.

But that meeting with Halls and those proposed contract amendments appear to have never occurred.

After two further complaints came in, including the sexual harassment allegation, McCoy made the decision to terminate Halls, emailing Scricca to tell her as much on August 16. Scricca disagreed with that decision, suggesting a “similar” course of action to her previous recommendations when she spoke with McCoy on August 23.

The next day, however, Halls was fired, with a UO administrator, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy, signing his termination letter. …

Blandy was told over the summer that he was being replaced as SVPAA, but was kept on at at full pay and with his JH office until, I believe, the end of December.

update: Back to Bach: EW’s Bob Keefer gets the docs on Matthew Halls firing

Keefer has now updated this story with a quote from feckless UO strategic communicator Tobin Klinger, who has had almost three months to prepare his talking points for the release of these public records, and could only come up with this:

The document does “not indicate that the reported incidents are the *why* behind the change in Halls’ status,” UO chief sokesman[sic] Tobin Klinger emailed. “You’re assuming a causal relationship that is speculation. As has been said before, we can’t discuss specifics of a personnel matter, …

Sure you can’t. Here’s the Around the O post from Aug 27, discussing specifics of a personnel matter:

Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) is moving forward in an exciting direction that will bring new voices, points of views and artists with more diverse backgrounds to festival audiences. Starting in summer 2018, guest curators will work with OBF staff to build a season of dynamic and engaging musical selections led by world-renowned conductors.

As part of the transition, OBF is parting ways with artistic director Matthew Halls. Halls leaves the festival with a legacy that includes the establishment of the Organ Institute, the Vocal Fellows program, and the Berwick Academy for Historically Informed Performance. During his tenure, Halls conducted many of Bach’s masterworks, including his own reconstruction of the composer’s lost St. Mark Passion, as well the world premiere of A European Requiem from Sir James MacMillan.

The transition is a strategic decision, made by OBF administrative leadership and the University of Oregon, and will keep the festival relevant in the ever-changing classical music industry.

“There’s an emerging trend,” explains OBF executive director Janelle McCoy, “to plan a season from the perspective of a guest curator from a different field or genre and then invite conductors to participate, rather than programming from a single artistic voice. …

Of course this was all lies, and I guess in Klinger’s world that made it OK for UO to discuss it.

11/14/2017: UO’s Public Records Office has finally begun releasing the public records, and the Eugene Weekly’s Bob Keefer has a teaser on what they show, and don’t show, about OBF artistic director Janelle McCoy’s stated reasons for firing artistic director Matthew Halls:

… The newly obtained document lays out two main complaints against Halls, an internationally known conductor who had been selected to replace OBF’s founding artistic director, Helmuth Rilling, on his retirement in 2013.

The first has been widely reported, that Halls was overheard making a racially insensitive remark to countertenor Reginald Mobley at a post-concert reception last summer. Both Mobley and Halls, who are friends, have strongly denied there was anything but good humor in the exchange.

The second is a July 12 complaint made by an unnamed OBF musician that Halls did not pay women musicians as much attention as he did men in rehearsals. “Our artistic director Matthew Halls does not call on them during rehearsals and favors the men,” the complainant said.

The heavily redacted complaint went on to say that Halls had made “inappropriate remarks,” though it doesn’t say what. The complainant also alleges that she heard similar complaints from other women and at least one man. …

McCoy is apparently still on the UO payroll, but her authority as executive director has been taken away and the Bach festival is now being run by Brad Foley, Dean of the School of Music and Dance.

Senate live-blog: Expedited tenure, Student Collective, VP for Eq & Incl

Update: page down for Student collective motion etc.

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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair

“Standard Operating Procedures” are not policies and cannot be used to restrict free speech and don’t let the administration tell you otherwise.

Remarks: Mike Schill, University President

Pres Schill is back from DC and the AAU meetings, with a report on the tax bill. The upshot is that it will be bad for higher ed by removing deductions for student loans and making graduate student tuition remissions taxable. It will also reduce the incentives for charitable deductions, and make profits on sales of Duck crap taxable. The excise tax on large endowments will not affect us. While Mike does not mention it, the legislation will also reduce incentives to give to athletics – which should be good for the academic side.

Mike also announces how he will spend the very excellent $50m gift that he tried to tell UO about last month, before the student collective shouted him down. No interruptions from the Senate though, as he explains that he will spend it on matching gifts for faculty chairs and a major new School of Ed initiative to work with Oregon high schools to increase the number of low-SES students going to college. Also a big-data initiative, a media center for science, and funding for the new Black Cultural Center.

He also says that he will not be involved in the student conduct code discipline process, and gives some conciliatory words to the students.

Remarks: Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost

Brad Shelton is now in charge of the faculty hiring plan. Yikes.

Remarks: UO Student Collective

Sorry, I’m listening, not live-blogging. Watch the video.  Video feed.

4:00 P.M.   Approval of Minutes, November 1, 2017

4:00 P.M.   New Business

Vote: US17/18-02: Expedited Tenure Process; Boris Botvinnik (Math), Scott Pratt (Provost’s Office)

Long discussion, ably led by Boris Bottvinik (FPC chair and Math). Whatever the Senate decides, it certainly has not been hasty. Straw poll shows about half the senate is in favor, 5 or so against, and about half undecided. More debate in two weeks.

Vote: Confirmation of Committee on Committees members

Approved.

DAPs; VP Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Office of Equity & Inclusion

The “Diversity Action Plans” were part of the fallout from the Halloween incident. Imposed as a top down requirement from the President’s Office and the VPSL, the process was badly mangled. Eventually a consultant was brought in, and then a team of faculty and administrators, led by Karen Ford, spent most of the summer trying to patch them up. The VPSL – who was on the job market during much of this process – then tried to get UO to hire an “Executive Coach” to help her explain these to the faculty. When JH found out (via this blog) they cancelled the bidding.

After objections were raised about the first round, CAS tried again, with a relatively open process for its DAPs. Dean Andrew Marcus held three town halls, at which the plans were heavily criticized by staff, faculty, and students as unfunded mandates that would lead to more administrative bloat and more window-dressing. Plans, info and transcripts here.

I had high hopes for this VPSL when she first came to UO as a replacement for Charles Martinez. She promised transparency and that she would hire an analyst to study what was working at UO to improve diversity, and what was not working. But things have not gone well. Her office has had extraordinarily high turnover, has never been transparent with the Senate, and has spent its efforts on window dressing like the IDEAL plan – pages and pages of buzzwords, with no action.

I hope she will be able to explain this morass to the Senate, as well as give us some evidence that the millions we’ve spent on her office has done something to help our students, and tell us how she now plans to use the $2.5 million in reserves her office is sitting on to help the colleges pay for the administrative busy-work that the DAPs will now require:

4:45 P.M.    Open Discussion
4:45 P.M.   Reports
4:45 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion

From the Student Collective:

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                UNIVERSITY OF OREGON SENATE

Resolution to Support the UO Student Collective

Proposed: November 15th, 2017 Proponents: UO Student Collective

SECTION 1:

1.1 WHEREAS the following is one of the official values of the UO: “We value our diversity and seek to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community.”

1.2 WHEREAS students have repeatedly approached the UO Administration with demands and concerns about policies and patterns of practice that jeopardize the well-being, safety, and success of students.

1.3 WHEREAS the Administration at the UO has not adequately prioritized the demands of its students to address these concerns.

1.4 WHEREAS the Administration has retaliated against student protesters and student dissent by actively pursuing student conduct charges and imposing sanctions on students for protesting.

1.5 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code reads: “The primary mission of the Student Conduct Code is to set forth the community standards and procedures necessary to maintain and protect an environment conducive to learning and in keeping with the educational objectives of the University of Oregon. Founded upon the principle of freedom of thought and expression, an environment conducive to learning is one that preserves the freedom to learn — where academic standards are strictly upheld and where the rights, safety, dignity and worth of every individual are respected.” [Emphasis ours.]

1.6 WHEREAS the retaliation described in 1.4 causes stress and anxiety to students, disrupts their academic efforts, and functions as repression of dissent and free speech.

1.7 WHEREAS the Student Conduct process has been carried out with clear bias; the students were declared guilty by the administration on public news outlets before charges were made.

Background: The Administration has ignored the requests and

needs of the students and is now charging them with Student

Conduct violations for protest and dissent.

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1.8 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code reads that students accused of violations can expect the procedural protection of “[being] informed of the information upon which a complaint is based,” yet students were denied information regarding how the conduct process was initiated.

1.9 WHEREAS the Student Conduct Code outlines a “student’s right to assistance” and that this may include an attorney, yet the university has yet to offer reasonable options in lieu of ASUO legal representation or advising, which has been withheld.

1.10 WHEREAS the student conduct hearings offered occur behind closed doors, do not include a scribe or other form of reliable record-keeping, disallow recording, and rely on a decision- making body of a single person.

1.11 WHEREAS hate crimes have increased by nearly 40% in Eugene, OR between 2015 and 2016, roughly half of which were racially motivated, as per the City of Eugene 2016 Hate and Bias Report.

1.12 WHEREAS White Supremacist groups have been allowed and

welcomed on Administration.

the University of Oregon campus by the

1.13 WHEREAS White Supremacist speech is a direct threat to members of our university community, especially marginalized demographics.

SECTION 2:

2.1 BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate urges the Administration to cease the Student Conduct disciplinary charges process and pledges to support student protesters during the disciplinary appeals process.

2.2 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate supports the pursuit of collective student action and ongoing conversation with the UO Student Collective regarding avenues for creating meaningful structural change.

2.3 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate denounces White Supremacist speech and organizing on campus as a direct threat to the university community.

2.4 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the UO Senate shall urge President Schill to pledge that he will use his position of power to deny White Nationalists and hate groups a platform on this campus to the best of his ability.


4:50 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

VP for Equity delays release of consultant info, wants to charge for docs

7/24/2017 update:

This university needs an effective office of Internal Audit to examine these sorts of bids. It took 5 weeks just to get an estimate from the VP for Equity and Diversity for the public records, and now the PRO refuses to waive their $114.62 fee:

07/21/2017

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:
The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “…a copy of all bids submitted in response to: RFQ for Executive Coaching Services Solicitation Number: PCS# 211000-00055-RFQ and emails between Michael Tani-Eshon or Yvette Alex-Assensoh and bidders or potential bidders regarding this RFQ” on 06/19/2017, attached.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $114.62. …

Thank you for contacting us with your request.

Sincerely,

Office of Public Records

publicrecords.uoregon.edu

7/10/2017 update: UO Matters saves UO $25K and an uncountable amount of administrative B.S.

Sometimes a simple question is all it takes. In an effort to find out more about the $25K buzzword consultant VPEI wanted to hire, I made this public records request on June 18th:

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: PR request VPEI Coaching Services
Date: June 18, 2017 at 10:32:41 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: mate@uoregon.edu, Yvette M Alex-Assensoh <yalex@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of all bids submitted in response to:

RFQ for Executive Coaching Services
Solicitation Number: PCS# 211000-00055-RFQ
at https://pcs.uoregon.edu/content/business-opportunities

and emails between Michael Tani-Eshon or Yvette Alex-Assensoh and bidders or potential bidders regarding this RFQ. I’m ccing Mr. Tani-Eshon and VP Alex-Assensoh since they should have easy access to these public records.

I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
http://harbaugh.org

The public records office has sat on it for 3 weeks now, and hasn’t responded to my follow up, but the good news is that the request has already worked. As of July 6th, “THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CANCELLED”:

5/17/2017: Office of Equity and Inclusion searching for buzzword consultant

Nice to know that, after laying off 100 faculty, UO now has money to burn on a consulting firm to help with “executive trustbuilding”, “change management”, “active learning skills including paraphrasing” (that’s a direct quote) and “harnessing the power of culture to optimize outcomes“. $25K, or enough to pay for 4 Pathways scholarships. And it’s renewable:

 

 

OSU rape survivor Brenda Tracy not impressed by Schill’s response to Wyden

11/4/2017 update: For the confused, here’s a link to today’s interview with Kenny Jacoby, the reporter who broke this story on OPB’s Think Out Loud. They discuss the incident, where UO’s response went wrong, and the reporter-blaming in UO’s letter to Wyden.

And, from back in 2014, here’s a link to a KATU story on the UOPD’s response to the 2014 incident. The UOPD asked for the EPD report, the EPD detetective said no, and the UOPD detective – the same detective who did not forward the Wyoming police report to the Title IX office this time – congratulated the EPD detective for not giving it to the UOPD, saying

“That was exactly the right decision,” Flynn says in the voicemail, “and what should have been done and we’re trying to keep people from being hysterical over here because they’re being hysterical and wanting to do stupid things.”

True enough.

11/14/2017 update: OSU gang-rape survivor Brenda Tracy not impressed by Schill’s response to Wyden:

Brenda Tracy has made a career out of trying to get athletic departments to deal with their sexual assault problems. Here’s her take on Pres Schill’s response to Senator Wyden’s letter:

Brenda Tracy
Reaction to University of Oregon’s Nov. 13, 2017 Letter

Earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden asked some very important questions regarding the University of Oregon’s handling of the Kavell Bigby-Williams case.

On November 13, 2017, UO issued a response to Sen. Wyden. I found UO’s response troubling, as it seems to “muddy” the waters of discussion and raises even more questions.

First, and most concerning to me, is the implication that asking questions about UO’s policies is somehow hurting the survivor or stripping them of their autonomy. How many times have we seen universities opt to protect their brand and reputation over the well-being of a survivor? Over and over, we see universities acting in ways to avoid institutional accountability and transparency. And over and over again, we learn just how important accountability and transparency is as a result of the burden placed on victims.

Under Title IX, schools are required to adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of sex discrimination complaints, including complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and to disseminate policies against sex discrimination. Schools have to investigate and respond to complaints of sexual misconduct regardless of whether a criminal investigation is pursued.

UO’s letter seems to suggest that in not conducting an investigation or initiating campus disciplinary process, UO was following the survivor’s wish to not move forward with such a proceeding. However, it is not clear to me that UO even asked the survivor whether she wanted to proceed in a campus disciplinary proceeding, or whether UO simply relied on the survivor’s statements to the police officer that she didn’t want to proceed with a criminal investigation. Not all survivors wish to participate in criminal proceedings, but this does not mean they do not wish to participate in campus proceedings. It is also unclear to me whether the survivor was ever notified that she could choose to proceed confidentially in the campus proceeding, or ask that her identity not be revealed.

And even if UO did talk to the survivor and inform her of her options moving forward, UO’s own policies state: “In instances where a Complainant requests no action and the university can honor that request, the university will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request not to pursue an investigation. Generally, this may include initiating a discussion with the Respondent regarding the allegations and explaining the sexual misconduct policy.” This seems to be in conflict with UO’s letter, which implies that UO won’t look into potential violations of the student code unless the survivor fully participates in the process, absent an emergency. It also seems to be in conflict with UO’s actual actions in this case, as it doesn’t appear there was any “discussion with the Respondent regarding the allegations,” much less any additional action taken.

UO’s letter does not assuage my concerns about the handling of this case. UO’s Student Conduct Standard Operating Procedures state: “Subject to being notified of a potential Sexual Misconduct violation of the Code, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the Director.”

By all accounts, it appears that UO failed to follow their own policy.

The school was made aware that this player was under active criminal investigation for sexual assault and not only did they choose to not investigate or follow up, but they gave him a scholarship and allowed him to play all season – and then they placed the responsibility of their entire decision on the survivor. I know first-hand what that feels like. Survivors expect and deserve better than that.

11/13/2017 update: Pres Schill responds to Senator Wyden’s letter on basketball rape allegation

Reporter Kenny Jacoby, who broke this story, will be on OPB’s Think Out Loud Tuesday (12-1PM) to talk about UO’s response to the letter from Senator Wyden. UO’s response is posted here. An excerpt from the part written by President Schill:

I am concerned by the assertion that “time and time again, colleges and universities demonstrate to policymakers, students, the general public, and especially to victims, that too often they are acting to protect their own interests.” At the University of Oregon, nothing could be further from the truth. This statement relies on an inaccurate premise, and I am troubled that it perpetuates a narrative that belies the facts at the University of Oregon and belittles the efforts of many managers, staff, and faculty members who have worked hard to develop policies and procedures to protect our students.

UO does have “many managers, staff, and faculty members who have worked hard to develop policies and procedures to protect our students.” For example, the UO Senate and its “Not in Our Name” resolution of March 4, 2015, protesting the decision by then interim President Coltrane and then interim General Counsel Doug Park (now Deputy UO General Counsel) to countersue the survivor of the March 9th 2014 alleged gang rape:

Section I

1.1  WHEREAS on January 8th 2015 the University of Oregon student survivor of an alleged March 8th-9th 2014 gang rape by three UO basketball players sued the University and Basketball Coach Dana Altman;1

1.2  AND WHEREAS on February 9th the University filed a counterclaim against the student, asking the court to order her to pay the fees for the University’s own outside lawyers;2

1.3  AND WHEREAS the University’s counterclaim outraged many in the university community and the public;

1.4  AND WHEREAS, despite withdrawing the counterclaim on February 26th, the University retained language from the counterclaim saying that some of the lawsuit’s allegations (a) amount to “unclean hands,” (b) “threaten to harm … all sexual assault survivors in Oregon’s campus community“ and (c) create a “risk that other survivors will wrongly be discouraged from reporting sexual assaults and sexual harassment”;3

1.5  AND WHEREAS the University’s efforts to defend itself in this and similar cases should be limited to disputing facts, instead of using its legal documents to make sweeping, polemical policy statements that themselves can cause harm to survivors;

Section II

2.1  BE IT THEREFORE MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate appreciates Interim President Coltrane’s decision to drop the University’s counterclaim against the student survivor, for UO’s legal fees;

2.2  AND BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the Senate fears that the victim-blaming language that is still in the revised response listed under “unclean hands” will harm victims of sexual assault at the University of Oregon, discourage them from reporting rapes, and have a chilling effect on them defending their civil rights in court;

2.3  AND BE IT MOVED that the Senate requests that the University report to the Senate on how the University originally decided to file this counterclaim and how it later decided to continue the assertions that parts of the alleged victim’s lawsuit are to be blamed for discouraging rape reports;

2.4  AND BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate asks the University President to withdraw the remaining counterclaim language that has been retained as a charge of “unclean hands”;

2.5  AND BE IT FINALLY MOVED that the University of Oregon Senate wants all to know that the University of Oregon administration and Basketball Coach Dana Altman are not acting or speaking in our name.

 There are many more examples of efforts to hide the facts and delay reform in the Gott-Gate cover-up timeline here.

11/6/2017 update: Can UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger distract Senator Wyden’s attention with attack on student reporter?

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the Senator has dealt with more competent deflection efforts than this one, from the feckless Mr. Klinger in the RG here:

“As has been said before, (in the Bigby-Williams case) the university followed the process as necessary under nuanced and challenging circumstances,” Klinger added. “While we understand that at first glance the selective information provided by the media may appear concerning, we would also respond that the media often does not have the entirety of the information due to privacy laws which we vigorously enforce.”

Here’s one of Klinger’s previous attempts to change the subject – a bizarre letter to the editor from 2014, trying to get UO’s Chinese students to go after former RG reporter Diane Dietz:

11/6/2017: Senator Ron Wyden asks UO to explain mishandling of rape allegations against Dana Altman recruit, calls for accountability

Stories now in the Emerald, WWeekRG, Pdf here:

10/26/2017: Student reporter Kenny Jacoby publishes Sports Illustrated story on UOPD & administration mishandling of rape allegations against another Dana Altman recruit

Here’s a link to audio of John Canzano’s interview with Jacoby, who raises some excellent points about how differences between UO’s policies and those of other schools, and UO’s failures to follow its own policies, allowed Altman to play this student-athlete for an entire season. As would be expected given his many investigations of similar prior incidents involving the Duck Athletic department, Jacoby is extremely knowledgeable, and very good at explaining what went wrong.

I’ll also point out that, despite this latest incident, UO has made many important improvements in how it handles sexual assaults, thanks to the overall competency and hard work of the new administrators working on these problems, including Darci Heroy.

10/25/2017: Here’s Altman back in May 2014, trying to persuade incredulous reporters that while he knew that his previous recruit Brandon Austin had been suspended from the Providence College basketball team for a year, he never thought to ask why:

I’ve never met anyone who believed him. Altman and the UO administration hid the gang-rape allegations from the campus community for months. Altman didn’t deny that he had planned to quietly pass the players off to other schools without telling the other coaches – or universities. UO never investigated Altman, instead they gave him a raise and a contract extension.

And here’s a story from last week about another Altman recruit who was charged with sexual assault while still deciding whether or not to accept Altman’s offer to play for the Ducks.

And today UO student reporter Kenny Jacoby has a long read in Sports Illustrated, detailing multiple breakdowns in UO’s compliance with its own procedures for investigating rape allegations against a fourth member of Altman’s team:

Last season, Kavell Bigby-Williams, a 6’ 11″, 230-pound transfer from Gillette College, averaged 9.8 minutes for an Oregon basketball team that reached the Final Four. He also played the entire season while under investigation for forcible rape.

School administrators maintain that proper protocols were followed and laws were complied with upon learning of the allegation. But according to analysis of public documents and Title IX lawyers who examined the police report and Oregon’s policies, procedures, and explanations, the university violated its obligations under the law and acted at odds with the school’s own policies.

The intersection between college athletes and campus sexual assault allegations may be a distressingly busy one. The fact pattern in the Bigby-Williams matter may be familiar. But the Bigby-Williams situation is more jarring given the athletic program in question. In March 2014, a UO undergraduate reported that she had been sexually assaulted by three members of the school’s basketball team, Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin. The graphic police report detailed alleged assaults at two off-campus locations. Despite the allegations, two of the players remained on the team throughout the investigation, playing through the Ducks’ 24-win season and an NCAA tournament berth. (Austin, who sat out the 2013-14 season as a transfer player with Oregon, had been suspended at his previous school, Providence, after being accused in a separate sexual assault in which no charges were filed.)

The University of Oregon suspended the players from the basketball team in May, after the season ended. In late June—when most students were away and college campus outrage was chilled—the University of Oregon confirmed it had suspended the players from campus for a minimum of four years following an investigation into sexual misconduct.

In early June, the victim offered a blistering criticism of the athletic department and of UO head basketball coach Dana Altman in particular. “I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over the safety of our students,” the victim wrote.

“I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene.”

The student would sue the University of Oregon, including Altman, for recruiting Austin without regard to disciplinary action at his previous school for a similar accusation. When the suit was settled—Oregon agreed to a payment of $800,000 and free tuition, housing and student fees—Altman’s job was spared and university administrators breathed an audible sigh of relief. …

The rest of Jacoby’s story details the multiple breakdowns in UO’s compliance with its own policies and procedures, including ones that the Senate revised in response to the previous alleged assaults. Read it all.