Update: Apparently Klinger was one of the ghost-writers for this Robin Holmes Op-Ed. In fact it’s not clear if Holmes even read it before it was submitted. The once secret email trail is here.
7/15/2014: UO’s VP for Student Life Robin Holmes (paid $241K a year plus family bowl game junkets) has an op-ed today in which she restates UO’s discredited story that kept the March 8-9 rape allegations secret because of student privacy, and defends UO’s handling of sexual violence in general.
Why should we believe VP Holmes? UO is still refusing to release many facts, including pages of emails about UO’s response that, by UO’s own statements, were redacted not because of student privacy concerns but because of “attorney client privilege” and because they contained “frank discussions” about how UO’s administration responded to the rape allegations. The same with UO’s decision to admit Brandon Austin. UO has still not responded to public records requests for documents showing the agendas for the apparently secret meetings of the “external review panel” on UO’s response to the rape allegations. Two weeks, no response. And UO wants $413.87 to see documents on how VP Holmes and the UO administration selected the people they wanted to review their own performance. UO’s response:
The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “any documents showing the nominees President Gottfredson, Athletic Director Rob Mullens, and VPSA Robin Holmes, or their offices, have received for the External Review Panel on Sexual Misconduct and Response, and any communications with potential nominees to this panel”, on 06/03/2014, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.
The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $413.87.
Her op-ed is just self-serving cheap talk from someone who is hiding the documents that would show what really happened, and help UO prepare for the next time.
Also today, newly hired UO strategic communicator Tobin Klinger has a letter to the editor complaining about Diane Dietz’s “Bowl of – – – -‘s” reporting:
Eugene and its people have lived up to my vision. Eugene is access to independent film, unique foods, outdoor activities, cultural happenings and community pride. I don’t know that this shines through on the pages of The Register-Guard, particularly with the sophomoric “reporting” of Diane Dietz. I admit to having a bias. Dietz covers my employer, the University of Oregon. In my role as head of UO public affairs communications, it is my job to defend the integrity and the reputation of the university. I advocate for faculty, staff, students, administration and athletics. I advocate for the Ducks. Earning positive attention is a challenge with a reporter who is more interested in pandering to the lowest common denominator than demonstrating the value of higher education.
UO’s public safety budget has gone from $3M to $6M a year since the decision to convert to sworn, armed police officers. (Compare that to the $1.5M a year Gottfredson has allocated to faculty “cluster hires”. Ms Dietz’s article makes it very plain just how badly that money has been wasted. UO fired the officer who complained about the bowl of dicks list, and promoted the two officers who updated it on UO time. With the UOPD credibility destroyed, UO had to get the Eugene PD to investigate the March 8-9 rape allegations. President Gottfredson never even bothered to tell his police chief about the outcome of that investigation.
The fact that UO adds to this waste by padding its payroll with spokespeople like Mr. Klinger ($115K a year, and not even the best paid of the still growing flock) to write booster pieces about the Ducks, instead of investing that money in its educational mission, is yet another leadership failure from Gottfredson.
Go away Mr. Klinger. UO needs more faculty, not more PR flacks.