20 days after request, Doug Park produces Burnside AAEO contract

7/30/2015:

Full doc here. This is far short of the full investigation of Penny Daugherty’s operation of this office that is needed. Presumably the Senate will now have to vote for the administration to do this properly.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.16.29 AM

7/15/2015: UO uncertain if it has public records on AA investigator Burnside

Dear Mr. Harbaugh: 

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your public records request for “a copy of the contract (or charge or other public records describing the scope of work and payment terms) between UO (or UO’s law firm or other representative) and Rebecca Burnside (or her firm) for an investigation of UO’s Affirmative Action office”, on 07/10/2015, attached. The university is uncertain whether it possesses the records you have requested.  However, the university will search for the records and make a response to your request as soon as practicable. …

Lisa Thornton

Office of Public Records
University of Oregon

Office of the President

This seems a little weird. Nice of them to keep looking though. There must be something in someone’s email, even if they are running the contract through a law firm.

7/10/2015: Will Rebecca Burnside’s AAEO investigation be real, or a whitewash?

Given the troubled history of UO’s “independent investigations” it’s a reasonable question. So let’s ask Doug Park for records showing just what it is that he charged her to do:

Subject: Public records request, AAEO investigation
Date: July 10, 2015 at 3:51:27 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu> Cc: Doug Park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of the contract (or charge or other public records describing the scope of work and payment terms) between UO (or UO’s law firm or other representative) and Rebecca Burnside (or her firm) for an investigation of UO’s Affirmative Action office.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

I’m ccing Interim GC Doug Park, as he should have these documents easily at hand.

Update: Investigator asks UO employees for info on affirmative action problems

From a comment by “employees only”:

I’ve learned that Rebecca Burnside has been contracted to conduct an investigation of the affirmative action department. After stating that she would like to cast as wide a net as possible, she later clarified that she will not look into student-related matters. Still, she has expressed interest in speaking to as many employees as possible who may have information for her report. To that end, she can be reached at rebecca@its-personnel.com. I’ve heard that her request is to spread the word, please!

Rebecca Burnside is an attorney and HR consultant, website here. Still waiting for the official “Around the 0” announcement.

7/9/2015: UO starts investigation of affirmative action office problems

That’s the rumor down at the faculty club breakfast table. Given AAEO Director Penny Daugherty’s famously incompetent management, this is hardly a surprise. Presumably there will be an announcement from the UO administration soon – I think AAEO reports to VPFA Jamie Moffitt.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 20 days after request, Doug Park produces Burnside AAEO contract

  1. Publius says:

    The U of O engaged an outside person to assess Affirmative Action. We have now learned that the investigator was explicitly told to avoid any issues related to students, specifically sexual assault issues–of the type that have been central to campus debates.

    Attempts to provide information to the investigator related to student issues and other matters have been rejected, as irrelevant to the performance of the Affirmative Action office. The investigator has been told there are no problems in this area, and, incredibly, they have swallowed this.

    This the typical secretive self-assessment that the U of O administration has come to do; hopefully this is the last we’ll see of this sort of thing now that we have a new president.

  2. employees only says:

    I’ve learned that Rebecca Burnside has been contracted to conduct an investigation of the affirmative action department. After stating that she would like to cast as wide a net as possible, she later clarified that she will not look into student-related matters. Still, she has expressed interest in speaking to as many employees as possible who may have information for her report. To that end, she can be reached at rebecca@its-personnel.com. I’ve heard that her request is to spread the word, please!

    • uomatters says:

      Thanks – you also might want to pass this on to Tobin Klinger, maybe he’ll post it on “Around the 0”

  3. Doubtful says:

    http://www.its-personnel.com/rebecca-s-background.html

    Where does anyone get the idea that this is an “independent” investigator? That seems to be the story that UO always puts out when it hires a lawyer to “assess the problems” of an office? Read her website bio, where she does all her work for corporate management:

    “Rebecca Burnside currently operates It’s Personnel Consulting services, which provides a wide range of human resources consulting to public and private sector clients in the Bay Area, including Genentech, Equinox, City of Livermore, the City of Tracy, Solano County, City of Hayward, City of San Mateo, and the University of San Francisco. She has served as the HR Director at Redwood City and Foster City, managing all aspects of the City’s Human Resources functions. She has also worked for the City of San Mateo as the Assistant Director of Human Resources. Before going into Human Resources, she practiced law, specializing in Labor and Employment Law, at Littler Mendelson, where she predominately did legal work for the Fortune 500, including Wal*Mart, Waste Management, Pet*Smart, Yahoo!, AdvancePCS/Caremark, Clear Channel, and Swift Aviation. ”

    The best way to get UO’s Affirmative Action office investigated is to have the federal government do it, don’t you think?

  4. No Longer Working GTF says:

    Seeing as the persons who have been most affected by Penny Daugherty’s mendacity and general incompetence are students, and cases involving those persons are specifically excluded from this “investigation,” it’s probably safe to say the best way to describe it is as a piece of kabuki theater.

    • Jack Straw Man says:

      No offense, but this use of the term “kabuki theater” is one of my pet peeves. You (and the political journalists you probably picked it up from) use it to signify meaningless bluster, exaggerated dramatic actions that boil down to nothing real. Kabuki theater is not that. Its performance styles are over-the-top, but only meaningless if you don’t know the language, history, and conventions. And this is a university, fer chrissake! We teach the language, not to mention the history and conventions of this performance tradition. If kabuki theater is meaningless to you, it’s your own fault.

      All of which is to say, “a piece of kabuki theater” is probably not the best way to describe this investigation. Your typical piece of kabuki theater has far more substance than this investigation is likely to have.

      • No Longer Working GTF says:

        I was literally waiting for this comment the moment I posted mine. Many thanks.

  5. Emma G says:

    The problems in AAEO have to do with incompetence and the general tendency of UO to cover up problems rather than fix them. If UO was serious about fixing the problem, they’d start by cleaning house. The only reason to hire a highly paid consultant is to continue that pattern.

  6. Licensed in Oregon says:

    Rebecca Burnside went to Tulane Law along with UO Associate GC Sam Hill.

  7. Cheyney Ryan says:

    I contacted Rebecca Burnside when I learned of her presence on campus, and expressed interest in discussing the Affirmative Action Office with her–noting, from the start, that I have publicly urged that its director be fired. She eventually wrote back to say that there was no basis for a meeting, since my interests were restricted to student issues, which she was not investigating.

    After writing back saying this was simply not true, I received an email from Nancy Resnick, new head of HR, inviting me to discuss my concerns with her. I have written her back saying that there needs to be a full review of Affirmative Action–and asking her if she will do this.

    I have not heard back.

    The complaints about Affirmative Action are widely known. For the most recent, look at the story of Laura Hanson if you haven’t already – http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20150528/lead-story/dragged-through-mud

  8. just different says:

    Does anyone know why it was decided to investigate AAEO in the first place? And who made the decision? Maybe the public records request should include any info about that. Is there maybe a plan to investigate “student issues” separately when UO isn’t in the middle of a discrimination lawsuit? (Yeah, I know–that will be never.)

  9. Angry Old lady says:

    Investigating AAEO???? Maybe this “investigator” should start with how it is she can hold a position of such great importance with her non professional degree (she is not a lawyer).
    Then move to all the people that have been harassed and fired just because they filed for an accommodation for their disability…been going on for YEARS! it is said the UO makes no accommodations for anyone so therefore they are not in violation of law….really can they legally do that?
    How about going through the records to find all the workers that have been harassed and fired because…of their age and years of service..(pay savings, get rid of them and fill with lowest paid employees, saves money to put in the JH paychecks.) yes its true folks…P does this.
    How about asking that ass kisser (AK) what plan she agreed to implement for Dave F which was clearly not compliant with law. Dave said do this for me and I will pay you well and she said of course….sure what ever you need I can do…. as he did. How do you think all the JH cronies came to hold their corporate titled positions with their 45% plus salary increases without holding one search for the entire lot of ass kissers Got to have P’s signature of approval to get that big and that overpaid.
    How about the investigator interviewing Hubin???? ask him about the meeting with Penny and DF’s request to implement his plan and her agreement….oh wait ask Hubin what DF’s plan was and how it changed the University into what it is now….a money making handout for ass kissers to bid his will.

    Sure go ahead and investigate by talking to those that know, suffered and are gone.

  10. Ongoing says:

    I heard that the investigator was told to send her report directly to the general counsel, but is now being asked by employees if she could instead have it go through the ombudsman. I guess it’s up to whoever her boss is – and I heard that the investigator isn’t even willing to say who that is yet. I’m not sure why the administration is being so secretive about it, it should all be public information about spending taxpayer money.

    • just different says:

      Oh Christmas. Why is it that behind any effort that might result in UO getting its act together stands Doug Park ready to royally fuck it up?
      Maybe a petition to bypass the GC for once is in order.

  11. Angry Old lady says:

    Only the OFCCP should investigate…and while they are going through the bogus and doctored records shut the entire U down until its done with their investigation. That should make some changes. Corruption is so thick there now its part of the administrations fabric….and Penny has her approval on every line.

  12. Whitewashed and prejudiced says:

    Whitewashed and prejudiced is how the report will be. In addition to incompetence and corruption, one must include investigator prejudice in these types of investigations. When the investigators are prejudiced and do not fairly evaluate all data gathered and then actively ignore data contradicting their desired outcome; you will find legal costs accumulate rapidly to dig out of those holes. BTW this is a recurring theme nationally regarding university “in house” investigations into EOAA type matters that are increasingly being challenged by the unfairly treated defendants in these witch hunts.

  13. just different says:

    I thought UO Public Records responded to every request like that. But it would be a refreshing change to get an email saying, “We know perfectly damn well that we have these records but we haven’t decided what we want to show you yet.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.