Bargaining XXXIX: Academic Freedom, Computers. Gottfredson to show for session? Nope.

Tuesday 9/10/2013, Room 122 or 101 Knight Library. 1PM til 5.

Live Blog disclaimer: These are my opinions of what people said or meant or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. If you don’t like my blog read the United Academics one on facebook, here.

Synopsis: 

  • Rudnick lectures faculty: Give up: “you all need to get focused on your students.”
  • Use of UO computers and networks: Geller is no longer claiming he can look at anything on your computer for any reason, but still reserves the right to look at it for any legal “administrative reasons”. Rudnick tries to sell this as a concession, raising the question of whether or not they meant “illegal” administrative reasons in their previous proposal. Rudnick can’t produce any current UO policy showing which admins can read your email for which reasons.
  • Academic Freedom and Free Speech: Current UO policy: “Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.” Admins propose to strike all this language.
  • Consulting and Intellectual property: sides are miles apart. Discussion to continue Th at 1PM.
  • Good news: UO’s US News ranking improves, which will mean a further strengthening in UO’s finances.
  • Salary: Goat is still on the table, union counter on Thursday? 
  • Retirement: Sitting on ~$150M in reserves, Jamie Moffitt wants the faculty to bear all the downside risk of an end to the 6% pickup.
  • Bottom line: Supposedly Gottfredson wants this deal done, but he is still trying to take back faculty rights that we have under current UO Intellectual Property, Academic Freedom, and Consulting policies.
Old update: Rumor has it that President Gottfredson and Provost Coltrane will be present, to make a “significant” announcement regarding contract negotiations. (Apparently not true.)

Old update #2: The administration’s fact-check pages are down, I hope forever. I’ve got a mirror Randy, let me know if you need it. Or just rummage through my hard-drive. (Fixed now, too bad.)

Prologue:

This proposal is “more than fair”. “The well is dry. Hear me please. The well is dry. This is an incredibly rich offer.”  

And we’ll give you $350 for a goat if you sign now. Details on the current admin offer here, page down.

  • Art 52 on Consulting: There’s a long discussion of how this proposal from President Gottfredson does an end run on 4 years of hard shared governance work here.
  • Academic Freedom: Geller and Gottfredson gut current UO policy, and ignore the proposed Senate revisions as well as the policy the UC Board just implemented for UC-Irvine etc. Here.

1:06: Room 122 is filling up, no sign of President or Provost yet. Maybe I got steered wrong.

Rudnick: I have 3 proposals. We can go til 5 and same Th. Our goal is to be done by then “because you all need to get focused on students”.

Admin Counter on professional responsibilities:

Rudnick: Nothing forbids counting union service towards faculty’s university service obligation.

Rudnick: Cross out the “Fair and transparent” part, that really gets our goat.

Mauer: Why wouldn’t departments be told they need to notify faculty of requirements?

Rudnick: blah, blah. Braun keeps on it.

Mauer: Lets move on, we’ll fix this for you.

Rudnick: We accept your stuff disallowing “arbitrary and capricious”

Admin counter on Acceptable use of computers and information assets:

Rudnick: We’ve moved significantly. Randy is no longer claiming he owns everything on your computer. However, if there is a risk about the security or integrity of the information you have stored, he can take your computer and access away.

Mauer: So, if you take it away for discipline, it’s grievable? Rudnick: Yes.

Rudnick: For example, someone has been disciplined, they might retaliate by messing with the computer system, we need to be able to remove their access.

Rudnick: Section 7, we agree to delete Randy’s “no expectation of privacy” language. We can still look at your files for legitimate university reasons.

Mauer: Such as?

Rudnick: Any reason we want, including administrative reasons.

Mauer: Suppose a dean is just curious. Lawful? Rudnick, in a tightlipped whisper: I don’t think so.

Cecil: But you’ve said before that would be lawful. Rudnick: No I haven’t?

Blandy: Would that be lawful?

Rudnick evades:

Mauer tries to pin her down. Rudnick continues to evade. “Look. This is a compromise. If it’s lawful and it’s related to university business, we can do it.”

Mauer continues to try to pin her down.

Gleason angrily spouts off about layers and university policy.

(Remember Tim, there is no university policy on this.)

Davidson brings up a plausible example involving a promotion where the administration would want to know about Would that be a lawful search related to university business?

(Something very similar just happened at Harvard.)

Rudnick continues to evade, to laughter.

Mauer: We’ll caucus. Meanwhile, what else are you packing today?

Admin Counter on Termination for financial exigency:

Gottfredson agrees to union language requiring a public meeting and faculty input prior to a university declaration of exigency that leads to faculty terminations. Pretty reasonable, what took so long?

Rudnick: Declaration of exigency is a matter for administration governance. Currently it would go through Senate. Open meetings, lots of opportunities for union participation. We will accept the shared governance idea. (But they won’t write the word Senate in the contract? Bizarre.)

Mauer: Our proposal says faculty can only be terminated for cause, exigency, or educational reasons. I read this to say you could also just to it for organizational reasons.

Rudnick: If we did that we’d have to find a lawful basis.

Mauer: I could see the university arguing that a reorganization allowed terminations. Rudnick: We’d have to show we had authority, say under management rights. OK, I understand your story, move on. She does.

Hey Tim, room’s getting crowded – is your side OK moving to 101? How about nudging Rudnick.

Cecil: So, we could write “faculty senate in here”? Rudnick: NO! And also, there’s no contractual role for the union. (WTF?)

Cecil: I’m familiar with boards, e.g. from the Lariviere firing. We’d like some stronger protections for our faculty.

Mauer: So, you deleted the language because you are petty and don’t want the word union in here, not because you want to take away contractual rights? Rudnick: Exactly.

Mauer: So this exigency language would allow termination of an NTTF with only, say, 2 days notice if that’s what was left on their contract? Rudnick: Yes.

Braun: Why did you take the NTTF protections out of sec 6?

Rudnick: I don’t know.

Anderson: And Sec 7?

Whispers to Tim, headshaking.

(Back bench notices she took it out without marking that in the text. Very sneaky, Ms Rudnick.)

Quick Caucus break. Come back in Room 101. 

2:51 The team’s are filtering back. 

Rudnick: For termination for exigency w/o cause, Randy has told us you can reinsert the protections for NTFF’s that we tried to slip by you.

Mauer: Our understanding is that evaluation policy should be fair and transparent, it’s just you can’t stand those words. So we agree to your deletions, with the assurance that there will be a memo from the Provost explaining the evaluations.

Blandy: Nods.

On computers: Rudnick: “University may withdraw computer access with subsequent notice and explanation to the union”? Cecil, Mauer: yes.

Mauer: We want presumed expectation of privacy for email, files. 

Rudnick: We will not agree to any language giving faculty a presumption of privacy. 

Mauer: We are trying to capture the idea that faculty don’t expect the administration looking over their electronic shoulder.

Rudnick: No, we will not agree. We reserve the right to look, if it’s university business.

Change “lawful” access to email and file from “lawful” to “legitimate”.

Rudnick: No. The administration will not agree to “legitimate”.

Cecil: Suppose faculty do a little personal shopping online. Would monitoring that be lawful?

Rudnick: There are laws about searches.

Cecil: So, under your language, would it be OK to monitor faculty internet use to see if they are working?

Rudnick: If it was a lawful search. It would depend on the circumstances.

Davidson: Suppose someone on a router was using “too much” bandwidth – could you do random searches of faculty email to see which faculty it was?

(So, what does the administration give up with this new language? All they are doing is agreeing to not break the law when accessing files – under the old language they were going to break it?)

Mauer’s on it. Rudnick continues to evade. But she then says monitoring for any legal work related reason would be OK under her proposal.

Bramhall: Are there policies that are published that we can see regarding who can access what for what reasons?

Rudnick: I’ve got some policy here somewhere, starts looking through manila folders. “I don’t know that I have it. I can email it to you.”

Really?

http://uomatters.com/2013/07/is-randy-geller-reading-our-email.html

From Dave Hubin’s PRO:

On 7/13/13 you were provided with a link to the Data Access policy in the UO Policy Library, in response to your public records request for “documents showing current UO policy and practices regarding access by UO administrators outside the IT department to 

a) uoregon.edu email metadata 

b) uoregon.edu messages 

c) logs of internet use by IP address or UO login name, 

d) use to the Duckweb “Financial Transparency Tool

The office has searched for, but has been unable to locate, additional documents responsive to your request. Therefore, the office considers the information already provided to you to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

The policy they note is here, and does not address these questions. It was signed by President Gottfredson on 2/19/2013. While it addresses some of these questions, the procedures required by the policy were still not in place as of August.

Cecil: So, we’ll get back to you on that, Tim.

Union proposal for Release Time:

Mauer: We don’t like this but we agree, to move things forward.

Art 53, Union proposal on internal governance:

Art 3, Union proposal on shared governance:

Mauer: Some minor changes, we’ve agreed to many of your demands regarding taking out the Senate, etc.

Rudnick: Wonderful

Art 50, union proposal on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Mauer: Minor changes, now OK for psychology professors to trick their subjects.

Rudnick: That’s a TA (Temporary Agreement).

Big One: Art 7, union proposal on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

Mauer: We keep the freedom to engage in internal criticism. We’ve discussed your efforts to limit that, we do not accept them.

Mauer: In section 2, we take out “and civilly”. We do not accept the idea that a lack of perceived civility, on its own, could trigger a disciplinary action against a faculty member. We took out “effective” for similar reasons – discipline for running a lousy meeting?

Rudnick: We’ll need to caucus before we discuss this.

(Note that even this union proposal is weaker than current UO and UC policy.) 

Current UO Policy at http://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/01-administration-and-governance/freedom-inquiry-and-free-speech

The University of Oregon values and supports free and open inquiry. The commitment to free speech and freedom of inquiry described in this policy extends to all members of the UO community: Faculty, staff, and students. It also extends to all others who visit or participate in activities held on the UO campus. 

Free speech is central to the academic mission and is the central tenet of a free and democratic society. The University encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to this community. Further, as a public institution, the University will sustain a higher and more open standard for freedom of inquiry and free speech than may be expected or preferred in private settings. 

Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression. 

The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.

Art 30: Union proposal on Overhead Policy and Transparency. (no, not the old overheads!)

This comes from a bunch of pissed off PIs. Mauer: We recognize that you don’t have to bargain on this. Cecil: We think it would be good for the university if the administration agreed to a committee to monitor Kimberly Espy.

Art 23: Union counter on retirement benefits:

Mauer on 6% pickup: You were worried about the policy that the pickup is eliminated as part of ending the pickup. We agree to renegotiate if that is the case.

Rudnick: Why did you take out PERS in Section 4? This would mean that if the law ended the pickup and everyone got it in salary, the PERS people would be whole, the ORP people would be 6% ahead. Gleason tries to figure it out. Rudnick schools him. No shame here Tim, this stuff is complicated.

Cecil’s on top of it though, kick back folks.

The discussion boils down to

a) We want the same language as other Oregon faculty contracts

b) Jamie has $150m in reserves for emergencies, but wants to shift the risk of this unlikely event onto the faculty.

Article 9, union proposal on Contracts:

This is about job security for NTTFs. Cecil: Contract mandates criteria for standards of excellence. We don’t expect that all NTTF faculty will be renewed. Some will not meet those standards. But if they do, we want job security for them.

4:32 Caucus break, back in a few.

5:00 They’re back:

Rudnick’s voice is gone. I can barely hear: She’s meeting with her handlers Wed AM. Discussion of Th. IP, Consulting, and Salary?

Cecil: Don’t forget nomenclature.

Rudnick: We’ll have counters on Academic Freedom, Contracts, Retirement.

Meet Th at 1PM. Rudnick finally agrees we can start in “a classroom” – Room 101 Knight Library.

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10 Responses to Bargaining XXXIX: Academic Freedom, Computers. Gottfredson to show for session? Nope.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess. Are we going to be told that education is what is important now? That we should recognize the sorry state of affairs in JH and how greased up they still feel from the flow of money to the athletic side?

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  2. thedude says:

    First words out of Rudnicks mouth, “You need to get focused on your students.”

    So I guess I wasn’t when I met with my undergrad RA’s yesterday, the two grad students I met with this morning, the grad student I meeting with this afternoon and skyping with tomorrow.

    She’s right in her second statement. She needs to be careful with her words.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Gleason thought he was being ridiculed last week… Gleason’s offer

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Absolute bullshit. Rudnick/Gottfredson are giving up not a damn thing. No literal law breaking as you dredge? Wow, that’s big of you, guys.

    The most important aspect to what is going on now? You still, after all of this, assume that you have our trust? You still find offense at us not respecting your “effort?” You still look us in the eye? Really?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Vote for UOmatters.com on the Eugene Weekly’s “Best of Eugene.”

    I propose,

    4. Best local hell-raiser
    26. Best self-published literary item (blog, zine)

    Go to http://bestofeugene.com/

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  6. Anonymous says:

    How dare they suggest that they should not do everything in their power to keep faculty retirements “whole.” That is what reserves are for.

    The 6% pick up is given to other faculty around the state. This University needs to be respectful of faculty and not pretend it is too broke to be fair.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The definitive moment today and for me, and by far the most representative comment of the negotiations came when Rudnick replied in response to a comment from a union negotiator on a discrete point of contention: “you should just accept this and say thank-you.” Thank you Sharon for so clearly articulating how much the administration respects its faculty.

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  8. ORP Tier 3 peon says:

    Why does she say that the ORP people would be ahead 6%? That’s about the pickup for ORP as well. She wants to pick up for PERS only and no ORP? How would that be fair?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of freedom of speech in academia… http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/10/nsa-matthew-green-takedown-blog-post-johns-hopkins

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