Mike Gottfredson’s last act was to appoint Tim Gleason as FAR. So how’s he doing on representing the faculty?

Apparently it’s going to cost $732.92 to find out. Long story:

RG columnist Don Kahle’s hilarious 8/15/2014 column on Mike Gottfredson’s $940K buy-out ends with this:

… One of Gottfredson’s final acts as president was to appoint one of his campus allies to serve as the university’s Faculty Athletics Representative for the NCAA. Sports must have been on his mind when he wrote his final letter to the university, which ended with “Go Ducks!”

This was a controversial decision. The UO Senate had already passed a resolution on 4/9/2014 calling for an open search. Gottfredson ignored it. So the Senate scheduled debate on legislation for an open search in May. Gottfredson didn’t show. On August 6th he gave the ~$108K gig to former UO Journalism Dean Tim Gleason, a frequent bowl game junketeer.

Date: August 6, 2014 at 5:05:05 PM PDT
To: everyone <everyone@jcomm.uoregon.edu>

Dear members of the SOJC community,

As you may have seen on Around the O, Tim Gleason has been appointed by the president as the University of Oregon’s Faculty Athletics Representative. This will be a .5 FTE position. The other .5 will be as a Professor in the SOJC. Tim’s duties will include teaching, directorship of the Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism and development and implementation of the budget and plans for the SOJC 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2016. Tim will be back from sabbatical in January 2015.

With very best regards,
Julie Newton

Gottfredson’s announcement on the Gleason appointment, same day:

Dear Campus Community,

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of former dean Tim Gleason to serve as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), an important position required by the NCAA. The FAR is responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletic program, promoting the well-being of student athletes, and supporting institutional oversight of athletics compliance and student eligibility.

The opportunity to gain experience from a 15-year dean who is nationally recognized and respected among peers in his field is wonderful for the University of Oregon.

Dr. Gleason began his career at the UO in 1987. During that that time he was awarded the School of Journalism and Communication’s Marshall Award for Innovative Teaching, published two books and many articles in law and history journals, and led the school through major growth, changes in the journalism industry and two major remodels. Since stepping down as dean he has served as a special assistant to the president and provost. Gleason’s teaching and research focus is on communication law and communication ethics. He also serves on the legislative committee of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, on the board of directors of Open Oregon and on the Oregon Bar Press Broadcasters Council where his primary focus is on laws and regulations concerning the gathering and reporting of news.

Dr. Gleason will assume his appointment on January 1, 2015. Current FAR, Jim O’Fallon, will continue in his role until June 30, 2015 as co-FAR to facilitate a smooth transition. I again thank Dr. O’Fallon for his dedication to the university and his willingness to provide continued counsel and expertise as he transitions into retirement.

When Dr. O’Fallon announced his retirement, after more than two decades in the position, I appointed an advisory recruitment committee to oversee the search for his successor. I am grateful the excellent work of the committee members, under the leadership of chair Andy Karduna, for their thorough and thoughtful vetting of the highly qualified candidates for this critical role.

Dr. Gleason exemplifies dedication to the academic success of the university’s student-athletes, along with the ability to collaborate successfully with the varied groups the position serves. Please join me in congratulating Tim Gleason and welcoming him to his new role as Faculty Athletics Representative.

Michael Gottfredson, President

Two days later, Gottfredson took Chuck Lillis up on that generous $940K buy-out and left town in a hurry. Like a lot of faculty, I assumed new Interim President Scott Coltrane would revisit some of Gottfredson’s more problematic decisions. He didn’t.

So Gleason became the UO FAR on 1/1/2015. Sort of. Apparently our old FAR Jim O’Fallon is really still in charge until June. So we’re paying them each ~$108K for the 0.5 FTE job, plus away game junkets – all out of the academic budget, of course.

The FAR job description is posted here. It says:

… 8. The FAR will serve as a liaison between the Athletic Department and the UO faculty, and, in particular, the IAC. The FAR will hold ex officio membership on the IAC. The FAR will promote interaction between the UO faculty and the Athletic Department, its employees and the student-athletes. The FAR will provide an annual report to the university senate. …

On March 14th 2015 the Senate revisited the issue of this closed search and Gleason appointment, and passed legislation requiring that the Faculty Athletics Representative actually be selected by the Faculty. Radical, I know. It passed unanimously. Coltrane ignored it.

So, how’s Tim Gleason doing on the “liason with UO faculty” part of his job? I thought I’d find out, starting with a question to him about the $732.92 that UO’s Public Record’s office wants to charge for public records about the meetings of the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics – chaired by Gleason’s colleague Kim Sheehan (Advertising), and appointed by Gottfredson a few days after he got the EPD report on the basketball rape allegations, as a replacement for the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee:

On ThursdayMar 19, 2015, at 1:59 PM, Thornton, Lisa pubrec@uoregon.edu wrote:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your
public records request for “any documents sent or received by the
President’s Office relating to former President Gottfredson’s
decision to establish the “President’s Advisory Group on
Intercollegiate Athletics”, the determination of its membership, and
its activities since”. The office is now providing an estimate to
respond to your request.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to
be $732.92. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of
Oregon in that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and
provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from
disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of
Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

The university has received your request for a fee waiver for these
records. The decision to waive or reduce fees is discretionary with
the public body. After considering your request below, the office
does not consider that the totality of the circumstances you
presented meets the standard for a fee waiver.

… Thank you for contacting us with your request.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton

Lisa Thornton
Public Records Officer
University of Oregon
Office of the President

My request to former Journalism Dean Gleason for this info, and info on the PAC-12 Athlete Time Commitment Survey, was was not well received:

On 4/22/2015 7:41 PM, Timothy Gleason wrote:

Bill,

Yesterday on your blog you asked what I might think about the PAC-12
time commitment survey. Here is my answer.

The PAC-12 presidents’ letter of last spring listed the issue as a
high priority and the study adds information to the ongoing effort to
understand and address it. The PAC-12 FARs are engaged in that effort
and will contribute to the Conference’s work toward addressing the
challenges faced by student athletes.

I look forward to productive discussions at the Conference and with
colleagues across the UO campus about this and other issues concerning
student athletes and intercollegiate athletics; however there is no
reason to believe those discussions will take place or be accurately
reported on UO Matters.

Past experience demonstrates that there is nothing to be gained by
attempting to have a serious conversation with you. The inevitable
result of any interaction is a heavily skewed UO Matter post.

For example, in March you sent or copied me on e-mails related to
intercollegiate athletics and my role as the incoming Faculty Athletics
Representative (FAR). I believed the e-mails were not sent in good
faith. Your actions confirmed that belief.

On March 19^th you sent an email to Lisa Thorton and copied me and at
least eleven other people. In it you objected to the cost estimate from
the UO Public Records office for “any documents sent or received by the
President’s Office relating to former President Gottfredson’s decision
to establish the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate
Athletics, the determination of its membership, and its activities
since.” You followed up that email on March 20^th at 10:14 p.m. with
another email sent to me, in which your copied a number of colleagues on
campus and journalists. There, you wrote:

“UO’s public records office has now offered me a deal – only $151.78 for
the agendas and related docs for the President’s Advisory Group on
Intercollegiate Athletics.

Rumor has it that this committee has spent some time on the sexual
assault issue, potential new UO sports, and other matters of public
interest. This seems a bit steep.

I’m not sure if your job duties as FAR include this, but any chance
you’d be willing to help get this out in the open, and just forward me
the emails you have with these public records?”

At sometime on the same day, March 20^th , you posted the following
headline on UO Matters: “Kim Sheehan and Tim Gleason won’t share PAGIA
agendas, Coltrane wants $151.78.”

Which was it, Bill? Did I refuse to “share” records you presume existed
and that I possessed, or were you “not sure” it was part of my job?
Which Bill should I believe? The one who politely inquired about
documents, or the one who attacked my integrity and commitment to access
on his blog? How can I take seriously a late night e-mail request that
as near as I can tell was sent after you had presumptively accused me on
UO Matters, saying that I “won’t share” information?

These e-mails and the headline are just the most recent examples of your
long-standing use of the UO Matters blog to bully and attack colleagues
with misleading headlines and commentary and the selective use of public
records. It is only one example of your corrosive and profoundly harmful
effect on UO campus governance and discourse.

You have a right to publish and I will defend that right, but I will not
participate in your misuse of the public records process and your unfair
and unprofessional attacks on colleagues.

The University of Oregon should be among the leaders in the national
conversation about intercollegiate athletics. Informed, engaged faculty
with an honest commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully
with colleagues across campus are essential if we are to make a serious
contribution to that discussion. I am committed to doing what I can to
make that sure that conversation happens on our campus.

All the best,

Tim

Tim Gleason
Professor of Journalism
Faculty Athletics Representative
Director, Ancil Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism

School of Journalism and Communication
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1275
tgleason@uoregon.edu
541-346-3739 (office)

And then:

On MondayApr 27, 2015, at 2:14 PM, Timothy Gleason <tgleason@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Bill,

Two points:

1. Thank you for the good wishes and your stated desire to work with me as the FAR. 

Shortly after my appointment was announced I am told you called for my removal from office on your blog and recently you introduced and pushed through the Senate with little or no consultation, discussion or debate legislation that would significantly change the role of the FAR on this campus, and, if the reports shared with me are accurate, said something like “We’ll give him six months,” when asked if there was anyone currently in the position. 

Do your good wishes represent a change of position or are they simply business as usual?

2. I shared my response with the list included in the string started with your e-mail. I apologize to those included if they find the emails intrusive, but I didn’t define the scope of the conversation.

All the best,

Tim

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7 Responses to Mike Gottfredson’s last act was to appoint Tim Gleason as FAR. So how’s he doing on representing the faculty?

  1. Pou says:

    “I am told you called for my removal from office on your blog and recently you introduced and pushed through the Senate with little or no consultation, discussion or debate legislation that would significantly change the role of the FAR on this campus”

    Wow. Just….wow.

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  2. dr. kaopectate says:

    I’m regularly amazed at the intelligent individuals who commit their lengthy and sometimes hilarious opinions to print that they know will be reproduced here while simultaneously trying to shame the mighty UOM. There appears to be a run on attention whores.

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  3. Punctuate Properly Please says:

    Are journalism professors supposed to follow normal punctuation rules? When quoting a multi-paragraph item, there should be quotation marks at the start of each paragraph, not just at the opening and close of the series. Doesn’t Gleason know this? UOM, you deleted his opening quotation marks just to embarrass him, right?

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  4. Max Powers says:

    Never get into a war in the press with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

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  5. clarity says:

    The cronyism at UO is stunning. I wish the sports-industrial complex in Eugene would collapse under ithe weight of its hubris.

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  6. SaveUofO says:

    ” It is only one example of your corrosive and profoundly harmful
    effect on UO campus governance and discourse.”

    If you believe asking for accountability, transparency, and exposing ludicrous misspending to be corrosive, then I suppose Tim might be right.

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  7. Dr. Funkenstein says:

    “You have a right to publish and I will defend that right.” Is he going to join the Army? He’ll be surprised at the pay cut, not to mention the possibility of encountering genuine hostility.

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