UO names Michael Schill, U Chicago Law Dean, as President

4/15/2015 updates: Schill on shared governance, from his 2013 interview at UW-Madison, here:

5. Previous chancellors of this university have had contentious relations with the Faculty Senate. Assuming that natural tension between Fac Senate and the Chancellor’s office exists, how do you expect to relate with faculty politically?

There is absolutely no reason that there has to be “tension” or a difficult relationship between the Faculty Senate and the chancellor’s office. The reason that faculty participate in shared governance isn’t because they want to fight with the chancellor. It is because they want to make the university better. That is also the objective of the chancellor. I think that the beauty of shared governance is that when differences exist-and they are as likely to exist among faculty as much as between the faculty and the chancellor-the differences can be resolved collegially through discussion, debate and, ultimately, compromise. The most important thing is to treat each other with respect and good will.

Thanks to “Geezer” for the link, in the comments.

8:55 PM updates:

Edward Russo has an informative story in the RG here.

12:11 PM updates:

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 12.00.50 PM

UC webpage here.

One mention in the Chronicle – he likes Coase. Good sign.

He’s got a pro-transparency bent. ATL, here:

I’m really delighted about our initiative to provide transparency on employment data. We are very proud of our employment stats and are delighted to release them in detail. I hope that publicizing this information on our website will encourage other law schools to report their statistics with the same level of granularity and with equal candor. I should note that Yale Law School already makes this data available on its website, and we have adopted their template for our own reporting.

The frequently cantankerous Brian Leiter was wildly enthusiastic when Chicago hired him from UCLA:

It really gives me great pleasure to announce that Michael Schill, a leading scholar in the areas of property, real estate law, and housing policy, who has been Dean of the law school at UCLA since 2004, will succeed Saul Levmore as Dean of the University of Chicago Law School on January 1, 2010. Before moving to UCLA, Dean Schill taught at NYU and Penn for many years, and is no doubt well-known to thousands of current law students and young lawyers as co-author of the leading casebook on property.

Schill has been, by any measure, a phenomenally successful Dean at UCLA: recruiting faculty from tenured posts at NYU, Virginia and Chicago; retaining faculty in the face of offers from Harvard, Texas, and Michigan; doubling the number of endowed chairs at the law school, and nearly doubling alumni participation in annual giving. Only rarely does one encounter a Dean who gets such rave reviews from his faculty. UCLA has, of course, been one of the nation’s top law schools for decades, but Dean Schill will leave the school in probably its strongest and most competitive position ever. My colleagues and I are fortunate, indeed, that he will take the helm here, and we look forward to welcoming him to Chicago.

11:40 AM 4/14/2015: Williamette Week has the scoop, here.

The University of Oregon will name Michael H. Schill, currently the dean of the University of Chicago Law School, as the university’s new president today, WW has learned.

Schill replaces interim president Scott Coltrane, who has served since August 2014.

The top spot at the state’s flagship university has been in near constant flux in recent years. After a long national search, Richard Lariviere replaced longtime President Dave Frohnmayer in July 2009. Lariviere’s aggressive approach alienated the Oregon University System board and they fired him in November 2011.

Michael Gottfredson replaced Lariviere but then resigned abruptly last August after two years on the job and barely a month after a newly independent board took responsibility for university governance.

Here is Schill’s bio from his homepage on the University of Chicago website:

Michael H. Schill is the Dean and Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2010, Dean Schill served as the Dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law from 2004 to 2009. His other faculty appointments include tenured positions as Professor of Law and Urban Planning at New York University and Professor of Law and Real Estate at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dean Schill is a nationally recognized expert in property, real estate and housing law and policy. He is the author or co-author of three books and over 40 scholarly articles. His work includes studies of the determinants of value in condominium and cooperative housing, the impacts of housing programs on property values, the enforcement of Fair Housing laws, mortgage securitization and the deregulation of housing markets. His casebook, Property, co-authored with James Krier and Greg Alexander is the best-selling casebook used in American law schools.

In 2004, Dean Schill founded the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. Under his and subsequent leadership the Furman Center has become one of the nation’s leading research centers on housing and the built environment.

Dean Schill serves on several nonprofit boards and civic bodies including Argonne National Laboratory, ITHAKA, the Chicago Innovation Exchange, and the Housing Preservation Compact of Chicago.

Before beginning his career as a professor, Dean Schill served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Marvin Katz of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and was a real estate attorney at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson. He graduated in 1980 with an A.B. in Public Policy from Princeton University and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Emergency Board meeting announcement here. Press conference at 12:30 in the Alumni center lobby.

Some questions to ask:

1) What commitments for new resources has the new President has been able get from the board – e.g. Phil Knight’s $1B with no athletic strings?

2) Will be the presidential transition team include the usual lawyers and “Executive Leadership Team” members who advised Gottfredson’s debacle, or will the new president formally include union and Senate leadership?

The comments are open – please add your proposed questions.

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49 Responses to UO names Michael Schill, U Chicago Law Dean, as President

  1. Ben says:

    How soon does this kind of appointment take? — if announced today, would the new President take office today, or wait a week or two, or longer?

  2. Hart says:

    …it’s an emergency? Like, they did not know they were going to do this until RIGHT NOW?

  3. solidcitizen says:

    Still hoping it’s Phil himself!

    Stanford MBA, world’s greatest sneaker tycoon, able to employ people for very low wages without letting it bother the conscience… how could we do better?

  4. Anon says:

    Are you willing to take money from athletics, for example by taxing athletic donations, and use it to support academics?

  5. Just in time... says:

    to inherit the next mess looming on the horizon. Sooo much anger and hatred in Eugene…

  6. just different says:

    Three elephant-sized obvious questions:
    – How do you envision the role of the Senate in university governance?
    – What do you look for in general counsel?
    – How do you think the GTFF strike could have been averted?
    Direct questions about the other unions will be ignored with the excuse that “we’re in bargaining.”

  7. UO HillBilly says:

    The real question is can we all put our differences aside and follow the President’s lead to move this university forward?

  8. Canaduck says:

    … followed by Harrang Long Gary Rudnick quickly preparing a job offer for another law-related UO administrator.

    Am hoping for the best though.

  9. notasportsguy says:

    Doesn’t sound like a sport enthusiast. “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” – See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2010/04/01/qa-michael-schill-dean-law-school

  10. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    One of my sources said it was going to be Condoleeza Rice. Or else me. I’m glad my source was cockeyed.

    Let’s hope this guy isn’t destroyed like the last three were.

    Since he’s a real estate lawyer, maybe he’ll help bring some sanity to the campus real estate scene.

    I hope his name isn’t an indication of what he will do. Another corporate/legal type running the asylum? Could be trouble.

  11. anonec says:

    He’s not close to “retirement age” and could start a legacy at UO or use UO for a better position later. I am more optimistic that he is as motivated as Lariviere and not as Gottredson.

    I hope he saw enough “athletics” at UCLA to worry about it and not get captured.

    • anon and on and on says:

      And I’d like to think he saw enough of the value of academics at (and for) Chicago to know how important it is to derail the collapse going on here. Cautious optimism is warranted, at least for me.

  12. If only... says:

    we had a President that knew when they were being offered bad legal advice.
    And someone that has some interest in urban planning.
    Hey, this might just work.

  13. Hen says:

    I wonder if President Schill will be able to attend the Senate meeting tomorrow. That would be splendid. Especially for those of us that can’t make it to the meet-and-greet today.

  14. Old Man says:

    Someone might ask whether he looks forward to governing within the framework of the UO Constitution.

  15. Crashcup says:

    So as a recognized expert in real estate law, do you see the university either as a cost center to be managed or as an aging monolith to be parceled out to Lillis-type donors?

  16. charlie says:

    U of Chicago won two national football championships, had the first Heisman Trophy winner, was a charter member of the Big 10, and got rid of football when it began interfering with academics.

    bleacherreport.com/…football…member-the-chicago-marroons

    Just sayin….

  17. oregonlover says:

    The video of the announcement is now on the UO youtube site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSOBtmpehNk

  18. Sports Fan says:

    Schill. The jokes just write themselves.

    Call me a pessimist, but I see this turning out poorly. Forget the administration’s current battle to marginalize the faculty at every turn. Here is a person most uniquely qualified to promote higher education in Oregon and convince the willfully ignorant state legislature of higher ed’s place in the state. If he performs his duties well, he could reinvigorate UO’s academic standing, lead a push toward funding new disciplines and promote research partnerships with private and other governmental entities.

    The most likely scenario is that he strips down the campus and sells it for practice helmets and lacrosse sticks. The worst-case scenario basically leads to the death of higher ed in this state.

    Looking forward to commenting on UOMatters’ presidential search posts in April 2016.

    • uomatters says:

      Note: Any future comments making fun of President Schill’s name will be deleted.

      Signed, UO Matters Editor and Herr Doctor Professor W.T. “Hardball” Harbaugh, Ph.D.

  19. The More You Know says:

    In the Spring of 2013 Schill was a candidate for the chancellorship of UW-Madison.

  20. Emil Faber says:

    I wondered where Harold Ramis went. I love it: a brainiac from Princeton on nerd patrol in Eugene! This alum is cautiously optimistic.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why the instant negativity from some? Let’s try to make things work. We all love Oregon.

    • just different says:

      5. Previous chancellors of this university have had contentious relations with the Faculty Senate. Assuming that natural tension between Fac Senate and the Chancellor’s office exists, how do you expect to relate with faculty politically?

      There is absolutely no reason that there has to be “tension” or a difficult relationship between the Faculty Senate and the chancellor’s office. The reason that faculty participate in shared governance isn’t because they want to fight with the chancellor. It is because they want to make the university better. That is also the objective of the chancellor. I think that the beauty of shared governance is that when differences exist-and they are as likely to exist among faculty as much as between the faculty and the chancellor-the differences can be resolved collegially through discussion, debate and, ultimately, compromise. The most important thing is to treat each other with respect and good will.

      He was also asked about athletics and gave a non-answer.

  22. that effing Dog again says:

    My approach is to always take someone we don’t know at face value and then measure that initial level of commitment to what comes later. Most people never measure up, but this expected. But some people fall very far and turn out to be essential just frauds or showmen/show-woman/show dog …

    In the case of Professor Schill – at the moment I strongly believe him when he says he has a passion for Public Higher Ed and wants to make a positive contribution to that endeavor.

  23. President Big Bucks says:

    It looks like he’ll make about $800,000 a year (with deferred compensation etc.) plus whatever uncle Phil gives him on the side (like Frohnmayer). So he’ll be living like a king while squeezing money out of GTFs and students eating Top Ramen. Contrast that to news of the Seattle CEO who gave up his top CEO pay to help the 99 percent at his company. What will his moving allowance be? I bet six figures.

    • uomatters says:

      What would you have the UO Board do? Hire another incompetent at $540K and then have to buy him out? Gottfredson ended up costing us $1M a year.

      • Conflict of interest says:

        I see your perspective here, but it is so very sad that “incompetence” is considered to be the inevitable outcome when a $540,000 annual salary is offered. The fact that admins get more and more and more the more incompetent their predecessors were is fucking ridiculous.

  24. Competence for $ says:

    I’m not sure the salary is directly proportionate to competence. Is he twice, or thrice, as good as past Presidents? Is he 20x better than a starting professor? The other factor is that now all the other fat cats in Johnson Hall will now expect big raises to match the boss.

    • it's all about the dollar bills says:

      Mike S is taking a huge risk career risk coming to UO. The BOT knows they must pay a steep premium to get the man who they believe most closely resembles their ideal candidate.

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