Some good UO student reporting

4/30/2013: Recently in the ODE,

Sami Edge on Sharon Rudnick’s exuberant legal billings:

According to a billing statement revealed last Thursday on the UO Matters blog, the university has paid more than $300,000 to the Harrang Long Gary Rudnick P.C. law firm in legal fees over the last year. Sharon Rudnick, partner in the firm and attorney leading the University team in bargaining negotiations, claims that a total of $266,245.50, has been billed as a direct result of her employment. …

According to Rudnick, the University funds that pay her bills are pulled directly from an administrative fund contributed to by general revenue from a variety of university departments…. 

As Union negotiations are expected to continue, with meetings scheduled through the end of this term at the very least, the question remains as to how much more money the University will spend on legal representation against its own faculty, an issue especially poignant in light of statistical evidence that UO educators are among the lowest paid as compared to their peers.

… [Rudnick said:] “These negotiations…will lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship between the university and the faculty.”

President Gottfredson, please don’t let this be the foundation of your relationship with the UO faculty. Fire Randy Geller and Sharon Rudnick and start with a clean slate.

Sami Edge on the UO AD’s refusal to implement multi-year scholarships for athletes, with quotes from Jim O’Fallon, Nathan Tublitz and a volleyball player:

According to O’Fallon, the decision about whether or not to grant multiyear athletic scholarships ultimately rests with individual coaches; however, he doesn’t believe the UO is likely to adjust their current practices unless forced into change by recruitment practices. 

“It will affect us a lot if schools start using the multiyear scholarship as a device for recruiting activity,” he said. “We’re likely to see schools that are a little bit farther down on the pecking order try to make up by offering longer scholarships to the most marketable recruits.”

Not clear if the student she interviewed got approval from AD spokesperson Andy McNamara before talking – a Duck policy that Diane Dietz discovered last year when the random drug testing program was being debated and the players wouldn’t go on the record.

Samantha Matsumoto on increases in student fees for the new EMU etc:

Normally, the expected costs letter accurately estimates what students will pay over their time at UO, according to Vice President of  Student Affairs Robin Holmes. While fees generally increase between 3 and 5 percent per year, the increases are usually not significant over the four to five years a student is enrolled at the university.  

But total fees will rise significantly over the next two years because of the addition of two new fees to cover the costs of the Student Recreation Center and EMU remodels at $38 and $67 per term, respectively.  

“We’re in an anomaly period for students because these building fees are coming on as new,” Holmes said. “Four years from now, the students coming in are going to know the cost is x amount because the fees would have already been rolled out. But the next two years are a little bit of an anomaly because we have new fees coming in.”

And Hannah Taylor on professors with biases. (Ryan Knutson had a piece back in 2008 comparing UO faculty contributions to McCain and Obama. Last time I checked 33 of ~650 UO faculty were registered Republicans.)

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5 Responses to Some good UO student reporting

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sami Edge is wrong when she says ” the question remains as to how much more money the University will spend on legal representation against its own faculty.” The University is negotiating with an outside group (AFT / AFL-CIO) that represents those of the faculty who signed cards. Many of us did not. The union is the union; the faculty is the faculty. Let’s not confuse the two.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t support the union organizing either, but, conditional on it having organized, I’ve updated accordingly. For me, I’m backing the union and all efforts to return the university to the faculty.

      I think it’s time for you to pick a side.

      For those who struggle with the re-optimization routine union organization requires, at this time I think it is fair to interpret your fence sitting as tacit support for the administration. Somewhat of an unsightly affiliation to keep over time, though… are you aware of the administration’s choices of late?

    • Peter Keyes says:

      The union doesn’t just represent those who signed cards last spring, nor does it just represent those who have now officially joined the union. It represents those in the bargaining unit, as defined by the certification from the state labor relations board. So I agree with anonymous above that if you’re in the bargaining unit, the best way to have your views heard and represented is to join the union and become part of the decision-making process.

      And the administration is not negotiating with “an outside group (AFT / AFL-CIO)”; it is negotiating with the United Academics of the University of Oregon. This is our union local, which is affiliated with both the AFT, and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). We are certainly benefitting from the experience and skills of AFT and AAUP staff members, but bargaining proposals and decisions are made by members of our faculty, based upon an extended period of research and analysis conducted by faculty committees last year.

      So you’re right that the definition of the “faculty” is not exactly coincident with the definition of the “union”, but it probably has an overlap of about 75% . If you want to apply the same standard to definitions of the “university” and the “administration”, I think you’ll find a much smaller overlap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog to anon that started the reply thread

      I for one, am completely confused at all levels. I have no idea what is
      really going on with respect to union vs faculty. I only know what I can
      observe and this appears to be an intractable situation or at least a situation
      that has no foreseeable end. I don’t really give a shit about raises, I do
      care about the nature of the CBA because that will determine my future at the UO.

  2. UO Matters says:

    Yes the union has a lot of outside help from the AAUP and the AFT and yes faculty support is not unanimous. But the UO Senate has just voted 30-3 that the JH administration is not “The University”, and in support of using the union contract to reinforce the principles and procedures of shared faculty governance.

    Senate Pres Kyr and incoming Pres Paris have both agreed to come to the bargaining session on Th to deliver the Senate’s message to the administration. So at this point “The University” is a ludicrous name for President Gottfredson and his team of Randy Geller, Sharon Rudnick, Tim Gleason, and Doug Blandy. The union is certainly more representative of the UO faculty than they are!

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