Gottfredson: Soft on vampire professors?

7/2/2014 update: The old post below now seems a bit more relevant, given that President Gottfredson apparently assumed he could keep the March 8-9 basketball rape allegations secret while the players potentially transferred to other schools. (The comment from Berdahl and replies are also interesting.)

And here’s another related case, from a reader. Apparently the standards for professors who want to transfer are tougher than for athletes: http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/northwestern-professor-accused-of-sex-assault-wont-join-rutgers-faculty/81079

“When Rutgers learned of allegations against Professor Ludlow at Northwestern, the university requested relevant information from Professor Ludlow and his attorney,” Greg Trevor, a Rutgers spokesman, said in a statement cited by the newspaper. “This information was not provided. As a result, Professor Ludlow will not be coming to Rutgers University.”

8/2/2012: When UO hired Lariviere this blog started a policy of giving new UO Presidents a mostly free pass for their first year. That was before I found out about this $350K ($355K, see comments) Beanesque scam by Bob Berdahl, 6 months after I’d been assured that he was without a hint of scandal, and a fighter for transparency and shared governance. Right.

So when Pernsteiner hired Gottfredson I spent hours combing through google news archives, PACER, EDGAR, California court records, and parking tickets, looking for the dirt. Finally a helpful tipster sent in this:

Alors qu’il n’y a eu aucune contrainte ou violence exercée à son encontre, ni d’atteinte (si improbable au demeurant!) à l’“innocence” présumée d’une femme de 27 ou 28 ans, où trouve-t-elle la ressource, comment peut-elle prétendre avoir le droit d’entamer une procédure aussi grave et de mettre en marche une bureaucratie juridico-académique aussi lourde contre un professeur respectable et respecté de tous?

Yeah, my French is pretty petite too – full translation here. It’s a letter from none other than Jaques Derrida, lambasting Mike Gottfredson and Irvine for their treatment of his friend, professor Dragan Kujundzić, an expert in vampire studies who had been accused of sexual harassment.

If you take Derrida’s view Gottfredson viciously hounded Kujundzić out of a job, over trumped up charges that prove Americans’ sexual naiveté. Or maybe Gottfredson compassionately settled a difficult situation by promising to keep the allegations confidential if Kujundzić left UCI, and then like a true idiot Derrida posted them on the internet. Anyway, Florida hired Kujundzić without knowing about his past. His alleged harassment past, that is, I assume his vampire work was on his vitae.

So, other than his arguably ambiguous position on vampire professors, I got nothing on Gottfredson. I even tried Microsoft BING, for christ’s sake. He’s clean. 8/1/2012.

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49 Responses to Gottfredson: Soft on vampire professors?

  1. Anonymous says:

    L. O. L. Loudly.

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  2. Cheyney Ryan says:

    This speaks to an issue that I hope to put on the U of O agenda this fall—sexual relations between faculty and their students. Initially, universities sought to address the obvious conflict of interest here by requiring that faculty immediately remove the conflict; hence, you should not grade a student you are having sex with. This is the thrust of the U of O policy, adopted in the 1990’s by faculty initiative (I was one of its sponsors, with Professor Sarah Douglas among others).

    It is now obvious that, while such a policy might make sense for older students, it makes no sense at all for undergraduates, many of whom are legally minors or juveniles. Oregon law does not regard 17 or 18 year olds as mature enough to buy beer; why should the U of O regard them as mature enough to have “consensual” sex with the 45-year-old professor? The solution: amend the current policy to prohibit any sexual/”romantic” relations between faculty and students under 21. Universities are increasingly adopting policies of this sort. If the Derridas and Judith Butlers of the world want to whine that this is “totalitarian”, let them do so.

    I don’t know anything about the Irvine case. Neither did Derrida when he wrote to defend his friend, the vampire scholar, with the same vehemence that he defended his other friend, Nazi collaborator Paul de Man. Our new president was exactly right to keep the resolution of the Irvine case confidential; it is completely inappropriate for administrators to make public statements about cases of this sort, one way or the other. At the same time, we should all be hearted that our new president is someone who takes these issues very seriously.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hijack. With premeditation.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not so sure about keeping these cases confidential from future employers. It reminds me of what the catholic church did, or Penn State. Presumably there’s room for judgement though.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m open to such a policy but the arguments need to be a lot better than what you have so far (not mature enough to buy beer isn’t very convincing).

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are probably 800 students that are under 18, tops.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The proposal is for students under 21. Students under 18 are not minors but children, under the recent law passed by the Oregon legislature on reporting these matters. A recent case in CAS involved charges of improper acts between a faculty member and a student that was legally a child (17) when they allegedly occured.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Gottfredson managed to inspire Derrida to write the single most comprehensible (or should I say least incomprehensible) thing he ever wrote. Impressive!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    “It is now obvious that, while such a policy might make sense for older students, it makes no sense at all for undergraduates, many of whom are legally minors or juveniles. Oregon law does not regard 17 or 18 year olds as mature enough to buy beer; why should the U of O regard them as mature enough to have “consensual” sex with the 45-year-old professor? The solution: amend the current policy to prohibit any sexual/”romantic” relations between faculty and students under 21. Universities are increasingly adopting policies of this sort. If the Derridas and Judith Butlers of the world want to whine that this is “totalitarian”, let them do so. “

    I’m not necessarily against such a rule. At the same time, I would hope that the current rule, that anyone in a position of power, whether it is supervising employees or grading them, can not have any sexual or romantic relationship with that person. And, if such a situation would develop, there would be steps taken to remedy the problem. You, are advocating that this would be *in addition* to the current rules?

    I hope I have a nuanced view on the subject: I have personally observed false accusations of sexual harassment used as a weapon, time and time again, in my department. At the same time, real sexual harassment is a serious problem that needs to be addressed in a serious way.

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  5. Robert M. Berdahl says:

    Once again, Bill Harbaugh has launched a personal assault on me, claiming I am guilty of a “$350K Beanesque scam.” Once again, Harbaugh shows how indifferent he is to actual facts. He is referring to his blog of several months ago, to which I responded at the time. His story is derived from articles in the SF Chronicle critical of the UC policy of granting a year’s administrative leave to chancellors who had served six or more years. This was hardly a “Berdahl scam;” it was a policy adopted by the Regents. I had no influence or control over the policy. Does anyone seriously believe that a chancellor could simply grant himself an administrative leave without the consent of the UC President and the UC Regents, who are required to approve chancellors’ compensation? Because the SF Chronicle was critical of the policy, it made me the Bay Area example of its criticism, rather like the Oregonian recently made me one of the poster children for its criticism of tier one PERS payouts, another policy over which I had no influence or control. Given Harbaugh’s McCarthyite tactics, I’m surprised he hasn’t also accused me of a PERS scam! And given Harbaugh’s preference for polemics over reporting and his carelessness with facts, one has to wonder, as other faculty have, whether his scholarship suffers from the same lack of objectivity and distortion of the facts as does his blog.

    As readers of UOMatters will recall, Harbaugh’s personal attacks on me began in earnest when I changed the basis of the waiver of costs for public record requests. Harbaugh accounts for 25-30% of all public record requests. In the fall of 2011, UO adopted a policy of waiving the first $200 of costs in retrieving public record requests. This policy proved unworkable and easily subject to “gaming the system.” Therefore, this spring, we changed the waiver to provide one hour of work free of charge. I have also ordered that public records that are commonly requested or of general interest to the community should be posted by the university. This is hardly “gutting” the public records policy, as Harbaugh charges; it does not suggest that we have “something to hide,” as Harbaugh charges. It is a policy consistent with what most universities charge and more generous than the policy of OSU, whose public records office Harbaugh recently praised. The change of public records charges enraged Harbaugh.

    I predict that it is only a matter of time before Harbaugh finds fault with President Gottfredson as he has with all other previous presidents and most administrators at the university. He fashions himself as a “muckraker.” But genuine and credible muckrakers pay attention to the facts and do not indulge themselves in personal vendettas. Harbaugh is careless in his facts and eager to vilify people with whom he disagrees. He is neither genuine nor credible. As someone has noted above, he is more of a mudslinger than a muckraker.

    Harbaugh is quick to criticize administrative expenditures; he is unwilling to criticize or broadcast unnecessary administrative expenditures for which he is responsible. For example, he appealed numerous decisions on charges for public records to the Attorney General. Despite losing every appeal to the AG, he persisted in his futile appeals, for which the AG’s office billed the university $51,000. This doesn’t even take into account the other legal costs to the university in handling these appeals.

    Regardless of how members of the university community feel about the administration of the university — and administrators, myself included, are often justifiably subject to criticism — readers of UOMatters should be skeptical of the veracity of Harbaugh’s blog. He is not committed to full and truthful reporting and he is willing to personally attack anyone with whom he disagrees. For an institution whose value system is committed to an objective discovery of truth, UOMatters contributes little to that goal.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am a tenured faculty member at UO generally uninvolved in the issues discussed here. I am an occasional reader of this blog in an effort to keep an eye on what is going on our campus. I have never been tempted to post anything before and generally keep my nose in my research world. This time I can’t hold back, however. I get it that Berdahl has a beef with UOMatters and that there are times when UOMatters ‘reporting’ is ‘a trifle pink’. But for a former university president (interim, albeit) to lash out at a faculty member like this in an essentially public forum the day after ending his term strikes me as being highly inappropriate and damaging to the institution that the president has just left behind. Frankly, I am just shocked.

      For all its foibles, UOMatters makes an effort to bring matters to light on our campus and to provide an open forum for discussion. The fact that UOMatters has come to play this role (if sometimes imperfectly…sorry UOMatters) is a reflection of a deep, deep sense of frustration on the part of UO faculty with a long history of administrative incompetence, corruption and neglect of faculty talent. In my experience (which includes multiple other universities), the ‘corporate’ culture in UO administration is one of petty vindicativeness, the likes of which I have not seen elsewhere. Johnson Hall needs to keep a careful eye on this blog not with regard to whether or not every fact is posted in just the ‘correct’ light (trust that we can figure out what is truly fact and what is ‘spin’) but to understand what it is that faculty and staff on this campus are deeply frustrated with and why.

      I implore our new President Gottfredson to read this blog with an eye towards understanding faculty frustration at this university. My hopes are raised (once again) that this time we will have a UO President who can clean up Johnson Hall and get it right.

      In my view, UOMatters research record is impeccable – strong and well respected in his field. I am absolutely shocked that a university president would suggest otherwise.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thank you, whoever you are, anonymous professor!

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    • Anonymous says:

      “the ‘corporate’ culture in UO administration is one of petty vindicativeness, “

      I agree with the spirit of Berdahl’s post. UOMatters promotes the “petty vindictiveness” that you chide. How many times have we heard about Bean’s Beamer???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agree completely with this comment. Do not dish it out if you can’t take it.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Uh, I posted Berdhal’s comment, and replied to it. So what do you mean by “can’t take it”?

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    • Mary, Queen of Scots says:

      Re. the nice comment from Anonymous beginning ‘I am a tenured faculty member…’ — do keep in mind that it’s unlikely that the commenter signing ‘Robert M. Berdahl’ is actually Robert M. Berdahl. Internet anonymity, no one knowing who’s a dog (as the famous cartoon goes), and so on. Of course, it’s perhaps even more shocking that someone would impersonate a real, on-campus person and put words in his mouth. If I were Berdahl, I’d be furious about that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you are a tenured professor and you criticize the UO administration, the departing President and former head of the AAU, etc. will publicly state that unnamed “other faculty” are wondering about the quality of your scholarship.

      Now imagine that you are an OA on a year to year contract, and you had to give honest advice or information that you suspect is not what Berdahl wanted to hear. What would you do? What sort of decisions do you think would result? Bad ones.

      Berdahl’s comments are not just angry and petty. They are totally unprofessional for an administrator, because these sorts of attacks lead to a culture of fear that leads to bad decision-making and outcomes for the institution. They also are likely defamatory – assuming of course, that Professor Harbaugh’s research does not in fact exhibit “lack of objectivity and distortion of the facts”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “If you are a tenured professor and you criticize the UO administration, the departing President and former head of the AAU, etc. will publicly state that unnamed “other faculty” are wondering about the quality of your scholarship. “

      Logic FAIL.

      “They also are likely defamatory – assuming of course, that Professor Harbaugh’s research does not in fact exhibit “lack of objectivity and distortion of the facts”.”

      Legal FAIL.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Obviously I don’t mind posting critical comments, but yours is totally uninformative, and therefore technically below the bar.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog to Robert M. Berdahl

      “For an institution whose value system is committed to an objective discovery of truth, UOMatters contributes little to that goal.”

      What institution has ever committed to an *objective* discovery of Truth?

      Indeed, it is this failure that makes much of history worth teaching.

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    • Not a Berdahl fan says:

      He backed the JH insiders all the way, then left us with Mike Gottfredson. Jim Bean could hardly have done worse to UO. I think.

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  6. UO Matters says:

    In attempting to defend yourself by attacking me you write:

    “Given Harbaugh’s McCarthyite tactics, I’m surprised he hasn’t also accused me of a PERS scam! And given Harbaugh’s preference for polemics over reporting and his carelessness with facts, one has to wonder, as other faculty have, whether his scholarship suffers from the same lack of objectivity and distortion of the facts as does his blog.”

    Have you no sense of irony, Sir?

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  7. Awesome-0 says:

    While I do appreciate both Dr. Berdahl’s and UOmatters perspectives, can we bring this back to what really matters…..vampires!!!!

    A question for both Dr. Berdahl and UOmatters to get us back on subject, team Edward or Jacob?

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    • uomatters says:

      I’ve done a considerable amount of research on this issue, but it has not yet been peer reviewed, and therefore I hesitate to discuss it publicly with Dr. Berdahl.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Frohnmayer Guy here. Berdahl is 100% right and all of you who disagree with him are not acquainted with the depth of this blog’s deception. Anonymous tenured faculty member, I’ll respond to you specifically.

    You are free to criticize past administrations for perceived weaknesses. I have no problem with that. Where you’re wrong is in taking an unnecessarily conciliatory and apologetic attitude toward this blog’s blatant disregard of facts. The ends of open discussion are never justified by the means of lying. It is a lie to blame Berdahl for a decision by the Board of Regents. It is a lie–or at least a very deceptive statement–to say that Berdahl “gutted” UO’s record policy. it is a lie to say that Kilkenny donated to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund to get the Athletic Director job. It is a lie to say there was a problem with Frohnmayer’s sabbatical contracts, that he withheld money from the state, or that he re-started his legal career while on sabbatical. There are all sorts of other lies I don’t even have time to get into.

    What is particularly amazing is that all of this has been pointed out to Harbaugh numerous times and he still refuses to confront the truth–I would be money that even now, he responds to my statement about the contracts by posting a copy of the “audit” he harangued the state to get that doesn’t even claim ANY wrongdoing by Frohnmayer (seriously, if he does this, just read it for yourselves. This would be a joke if it weren’t so sad and time-wasting). Now, I am not saying that everything Harbaugh says on this blog lacks merit. But I am saying that people here need to be more critical and recognize that false statements are not
    conducive to improving this university.

    “In my view, UOMatters research record is impeccable – strong and well respected in his field. I am absolutely shocked that a university president would suggest otherwise.”

    Dig MUCH deeper, my tenured faculty friend.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Me again–with regard to the last comment, I realize now that you were probably referring to his academic research rather than his blog research. If so, I apologize for my confusion. I have no opinion on his academic research.

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  9. Cat says:

    Wow! At some level, I feel like someone should step in and hold the boys to arms-lengths apart, in spite of their flailing, until they calm down. There is something very juvenile about this sparring, though it uses lots of big, grown-up words.

    At another level, I am doubly appalled. Without taking sides, one might point out both their faults. It is entirely true that when Harbaugh gets a bee in his bonnet he works it mercilessly, endlessly, unequivocally, and to the exclusion of other issues, and “transparency” is the most particular of his “bees”. It is also true that when a certain individual occupies that position for him, he appears to pursue a vendetta, and with no need to show the most basic human respect to the individuals involved. He insults people like Berdalh, Bean, Geller as if doing so was a public service–and in this I think he is wrong and does the whole UO community a disservice. His treatment of Berdahl, during his brief and important tenure as interim president is a classic example. It’s been ugly to watch all spring.

    Berdahl, however, whom I respect as a person and as interim president (as I do Harbaugh as a person and as a faculty colleague) is thoroughly out of line in questioning Harbaugh’s scholarship in this forum. It’s just slanderous, tossing it out there like that. Which research? which articles? And there is no way for Harbaugh to respond–not that he should deign to. Why step down as president and then behave in such an unbecoming way the very next day? It’s an irrational response to what are admittedly often irrational attacks on Harbaugh’s part (and I’m sure Berdahl is right about the costs to the university, and there are other costs too), and therefore psychologically understandable. But he should have stopped short of that.

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    • Scurvy Berdahl says:

      It’s a huge mistake to just assume that the post is from Berdahl. Anyone could fake that post.

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    • uomatters says:

      Yes, anyone can comment under any name, that’s part of the charm of the internet. But I am confident that particular voice is Berdahl’s. He’s commented here before, once he broke the 4000 character limit and sent me a very polite email from his bobb@uoregon.edu account, asking if I would post the comment for him, which I did, at http://uomatters.com/2012/05/ban-presidential-search-firms.html If you have doubts, email him and ask!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Dog to Cat and others

    as far as I can tell some person named Berdahl (whom I don’t know) is attacking
    some guy named Harbaugh (who has never published in UOmatters) with some intermediary Cat trying to reconcile irrationality.

    There is a partial solution to this in that UOmatters should simply not publish attacks (as judged by the UOmatters editorial board); that would stem the flow of additional attacks and various offensive and defensive maneuvers.

    Indeed this is what I find to be the flaw in this blog – ranting and irrational and sometimes calm and reflective discussion of academic ideas, faculty morale, administrative competence, etc is what this blog should be about.

    Stupid personal attacks, he said/she said, etc really ought to be banned from this forum so that we stick to the issues – that alone can drive the rants.

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    • Cat says:

      Is there a UOMatters editorial board? Such a thing would help a lot–to keep the flow of info going annd maintain transparency, while leeching out the personal biases of any one individual. Sign me up!

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    • UO Matters says:

      I am happy to post from Cats. Turnaround time for submissions is typically a few hours, max. Not sure you’ll want to list it on your vita though. Our open peer review process includes a number of distinguished scholars, including a former AAU president.

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    • Cat says:

      Sorry, small misunderstanding here: This Cat doesn’t have anything interesting to post. She just got excited about the editing implied by the phrase “editorial board”. :)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Excited Cats really Confuse Dogs ..

      and I got enough to be confused about these days, anyway

      and in the new budget model, or rather the new, new one – your docked
      1% of salary for each UOmatters post ….

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Fruits from the quest for transparency. Onward!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    If it’s really Berdahl, this attack on Harbaugh’s research isn’t just irrational, it’s bat-shit crazy. As for the rest Berdahl certainly should defend himself, though in places it seems like a rant – who went after him for his PERS payments? How much does he get anyway? What does that have to do with anything?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    To answer Anonymous: In a cheap bit of lefty populism, the Oregonian in March called Berdahl “one of the state’s most prosperous double dippers,” criticizing him for accepting PERS benefits while also accepting a presidential salary, burying the fact that he was fully entitled to both, and failing to emphasize the fact that if he had not selflessly volunteered to return to UO, he’d have been sitting pretty in Lake Oswego or wherever this whole time and probably would not have attracted any public attention at all.

    So I think Berdahl is right to compare this incident to his treatment at the hands of the SF Chronicle over his UC sabbatical, and I think Harbaugh is wrong to hold out either incident as a case of scandal or personal greed. You could argue that executive compensation is out of hand in both the private and public sectors, and you could argue that states made pension promises decades ago that they can’t now keep, but an economist of all people should acknowledge at the very least that the resulting problems are not solely the product of personal corruption, as UO Matters seems to imply.

    Turning to Gottfredson: I want to know what standards UOMatters will hold him to. If the “free pass for one year” policy has been suspended in light of Berdahl’s alleged “Beanesque scam,” what kind of slack — if any — will he give our new president? Because I agree with Berdahl here too, that it’s only a matter of time before buyer’s remorse sets in and Gottfredson does something that invites UOMatters’s wrath.

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    • UO Matters says:

      A sincere effort on shared governance, including sharing information and involving faculty in the appointment of new administrators and in the evaluation of the old ones.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A structural way to accomplish these goals would be to reform the Senate committees so that each one shadows the relevant top administrator, collaborates and shares information with that person and his/her office, and participates in his/her evaluation.

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  14. uomatters says:

    The PERS story Berdahl is angry about is from March,http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/03/robert_berdahl_university_of_o.html I agree it’s a cheap shot, and in fact I’d posted a comment on it in March, defending Berdahl. It’s still there:

    uomatters.com “There are 394 people pulling down higher PERS benefits than Bob Berdahl gets. So why did Bill Graves use Berdahl as the example of what’s wrong with PERS? Because George Pernsteiner asked him to do a hatchet job as a special favor?”

    The SFGate stories are not so easily dismissed. Obviously Berdahl felt he was entitled to the money, others thought he shouldn’t get an administrative salary for an academic sabbatical, and should have to commit to return to teaching at Berkeley for a year – which in the end he had to do, sort of.  I suggest people read the stories before agreeing with Berdah’ls take, or mine: http://uomatters.com/2012/06/why-bob-berdahl-hates-public-records.html

    Giving administrators academic sabbaticals at their administrative pay is generally controversial, there were cases a few years ago in North Carolina and Maryland where the state auditors forced the administrators to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    From what I have observed from my few months of reading here it is obvious UO Matters has personal issues with many folks on campus. He often resorts to juvenile name calling and extremely personal attacks. Attacking someone’s job performance and decisions on the job is one thing, an unrelenting personal campaign is another. I agree with the idea that decisions and information for a public institution should be public. Just wait until you all get what you want and go private…UO Matters will be out of lucking getting his precious info to spin into his personal attacks. I look at this blog and wonder what a sad existence it is to spend all of your waking hours worrying about what a few people you have something personal against. Stop trying to pretend you are a martyr to the cause of transparency and just admit you hate certain folks at the University and love attacking them personally.

    I know some may disagree but you really do lose credibility with the personal attacks, insults and apparent vendettas. You come across more National Enquirer than NY Post.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It appears you’ve got a thing for “personal attacks”. So much so that you launch a personal attack, giving correction about credibility under the name … wait for it … anonymous! Who takes that seriously?

      Beware: some nonnies have gone blind and soft in the head from too much scribbling and reading the NE.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m with Cat – shocked that someone with Berdahl’s overall reputation would stoop to such an unreasoned response. UOMatters certainly also goes low, but why do so many reasonable faculty still log in? Because there is some information (which most of us sift with a practiced eye), whereas the Admin gives out none. In the last decade I’ve seen the fortress grow around Johnson Hall as it became a large and private party. The worst situation was the total blackout regarding the Lariviere crisis. No informative updates from The Hall, the faculty senate, the student senate, or any other official source. Second worst has been the union situation. Can’t agree more with the UOMatters comparison of Jim Bean’s cheery non-information vs, for example, the posting from CAS on enrollment. We don’t need to know that there was a retreat – we need to know what was actually said!
    Admin, if this blog is annoying, give us something else to read that is substantial and honest.
    Um, as I write this, we do hear from the Provost that the Retreat participants chose ‘Civic + Social Engagement’ as their top University priority. Next, we would like to know what that actually means……

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Why should a university professor be held to a different standard of accuracy for his blog than for his other professional publications? Why should inaccuracies or misrepresentations be forgiven or overlooked in one but not in the other?

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    1) because its a blog
    2) because this particular blog software sucks at editing
    3) because its a blog

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  19. Cheyney Ryan says:

    I have not looked at these comments in a few days, so would like to comment on the responses to my proposal.

    Sex, consensual or otherwise, would be be prohibited between faculty and students who are minors–under 21. This is a substantial population; its effect, I hope, would be to discourage sex, consensual or otherwise, between faculty and all undergraduates. This would amend the current policy, not replace it, so that the existing rules pertaining to abuses of power etc. would remain; the new rule would supplement this. Clarifying the rule, as this would do, would protect faculty, since vague rules – of the kind we have now – are most subject to abuse.

    Finally, this rule would be in keeping with the direction of other universities. I recently served as a consultant on Yale’s policies, which now prohibit any sexual/romantic relations between faculty and undergraduates.

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  20. Oryx says:

    There are potentially millions of issues one could be concerned with, so in pushing for this one, a key question that needs to be explicitly answered is: how prevalent is this? In several years, I have found zero of my colleagues to have had sexual/romantic relations with undergrads. Maybe I’m just cloistered, or maybe this is a rare occurrence. If rare, then presumably occasions when any aspect of abuses of power are involved are even rarer. (If no abuses are involved, I can’t see why we would prohibit behavior that’s not prohibited by society in general, even if we personally find it unpleasant.) So: Why should I care about this when there are *major* issues that affect students, like our hugely expanding, very quantifiable student/faculty ratio — see http://ir.uoregon.edu/files/enr1112.pdf and http://ir.uoregon.edu/files/fac1112.pdf — to focus my very limited time on?

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    I wonder if at Yale the number of accusations will now increase as a way for students to gain leverage or cause trouble for a faculty member they don’t like. In my experience this happens more than actual incidents.

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    • Cheyney Ryan says:

      The main reason for being concerned with this general issue is that, at the moment, U of O practices do not comply with the requirements of Title IX. One aspect of this is that students are completely unaware of what the policies are, hence do not know of their right to complain–hence we have no idea how extensive the problem is. Nationwide, all the empirical studies suggest that these problems are increasing. To Oryx: I do not doubt that there are places where these problems do not exist. I do not believe that they exist at the law school, for example, where I work now. So, this may not be an issue to spend a lot of time on. It does not follow that one should not care about it: how many instances do there need to be for it to be a “real” problem?

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