June 2 Board meeting, continued:

The morning committee meetings are here. Live video here. Some live blogging below. Usual disclaimer: my opinion of what people said, should have said, meant, or should have meant.

Highlights (to be updated):

  • Strong public comments from the the Divest UO students, who describe the contempt they’ve received from the UO Foundation while making rational, reasoned arguments in favor of CO2 divestment. An impressive group of students. They talk about the Divest Fund – a fiendishly clever plan to outflank the UO Foundation’s monopoly on donations to UO. I can’t wait to hear what Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold has to say, later in the meeting.
  • Outgoing Senate President Randy Sullivan demolishes the Board’s “six myths about the Senate”.
  • UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold reports on high earnings, investments in alternative energy, high cost of unwinding the foundation’s troubled tar-sands private equity deal.

More on Divest UO – an OPB interview:

We hear why some students at the University of Oregon want the college to stop investing in fossil fuels companies. Guests: Oregon senior and co-director of the Divest UO campaign, Erik Jung; and University of Oregon Foundation President, Paul Weinhold.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm. Full Board.  Materials

12:30 pm (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum
– Opening remarks
– Approval of March 2016 minutes (Action)
– Public comment

Those wishing to provide comment must sign up advance and review the public comment guidelines either online (http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings) or at the check‐in table at the meeting.

I’m sorry, I’m listening not blogging. I’m hoping there’s video somewhere.

Strong public comments from the the Divest UO students, who describe the contempt they’ve received from the UO Foundation while making rational, reasoned arguments in favor of CO2 divestment. An impressive group of students. They talk about the Divest Fund – a fiendishly clever plan to outflank the UO Foundation’s monopoly on donations to UO. I can’t wait to hear what Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold has to say, later in the meeting.

De-naming Deady: Fascinating to hear the alumni speak about Deady and Oregon history. How often does William Lloyd Garrison’s name come up in a Board meeting?

1. End of Year Reports

– Senate President Randy Sullivan

In homage to President Schill’s excellent speech yesterday, on “Six Myths About Higher Education”, Senate President Randy Sullivan marks his last Board meeting with a report titled “Six Myths About The UO Senate”. (Schill loves this, of course.) Most of these myths originated with the very bitter Bob Berdahl, and were taken up with enthusiasm by Lillis, and too many others on the UO Board. The faculty representative on the Board, Susan Gary (Law) did nothing to fight these memes.

Randy is knocking these myths down one-by-one, starting with a reminder that it is faculty governance, operating through institutions like the Senate, that make U.S. higher education the envy of the world. He gives full credit to Mike Schill for the progress that has been made over the past year repairing the damage done by Berdahl, Gottfredson and Coltrane.

‐Associated Students of the University of Oregon, 2015‐16 President Helena Schlegel

Helena was the student representative until last year, when she left in frustration over her dismissive treatment. Her report touches on the tuition increase, Black Student Demands, Shasta Lake.

2. President’s Report, President Michael Schill

Sorry, listening not blogging. Close to $1B in campaign, 60% for the academic side, ratio has been increasing.

3. Seconded Motions and Resolutions (Actions)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: AY2016‐17 expenditure authorization (pending June 2 committee action)
‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Naming of certain facilities (pending June 2 committee action)
‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Multimedia license agreement (pending June 2 committee action)

4. University of Oregon Foundation Overview, University of Oregon Foundation President and CEO Paul Weinhold

Video of Weinhold’s presentation here:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.33.15 PM

Whoops, that’s Weinhold in Doha, promising the full faith and credit of his $1B foundation to the notoriously corrupt IAAF and their President Lamine Diack to cover any losses or cost overruns if they will hold their Track and Field Championships in Eugene. They took him up on his offer.

Weinhold tells the UO Board that, under CIO Jay Namyet, the UO Foundation is doing a stellar job investing funds.

Are any of the Trustees going to ask about the Divest UO campaign? Yes, Ann Curry: What about fossil fuels investments. Are they part of the reason for Namyet’s high returns? Weinhold: Syracuse and UMass say they are divesting, but if you look at the language they haven’t. We have 1% in carbon, 6% in alternative energy. Weinhold:

“We don’t ever want to put ourselves in a situation where we would be liars.”

On that topic, here’s the UO Foundation’s Chief Investment Officer Jay Namyet’s pissy email to the UO Divest students (more here):

On 2015/04/09 10:05, Jay Namyet wrote:

[UO Divest undergraduate student],

When I asked you all why you were meeting with the president, the response I got was to learn his personal thoughts about this issue.

Turns out, not really.

As is indicated by [UO Divest undergraduate student] below in [pronoun redacted] email to the president’s office, and just as you three did with me this morning, this is about pressing your argument for divestment even though you have already received responses from all parties involved.

I offered an olive branch to you all last meeting and was the basis for today’s meeting. You all chose to ignore that and continue to beat the same drum of divestment.

I don’t appreciate being lied to about your intent of meeting with the president and I don’t appreciate your not honoring the reason for meeting today with me.

As a result, you have now lost the opportunity for further dialogue with me.


Trustee Susan Gary (Law) then lavishes Weinhold with praise for doing so much.

5. University “Clusters of Excellence” Initiative – Update, Provost and Senior Vice President Scott Coltrane, Vice President for Research Brad Shelton

I’m looking at Coltrane’s slides and not seeing anything about the contentious Sports Product Design proposal that Lillis was pushing last year. Wasn’t that one of the clusters? Or was it a spire? Weren’t we going to get $20M in donations to pay for it?  We didn’t, but now Coltrane is claiming it will pay for itself.

Instead, Coltrane has a slew of impressive looking new science hires to announce, funded in part by donors and in part by the Schill’s internal cost-savings.

Ballmer: Would it be better to see a more directed approach from the central administration?

Schill: It’s very hard to have a top down approach with top faculty. We can put them in a lab together, give them resources, but we don’t have the expertise to direct them in particular research directions – they are the ones on the cutting edge, they are the only people in the world who know where research should go. Ballmer pushes back a little: university has already done some direction, by picking the clusters. You can make sure they understand the high expectations. Schill: Oh they do!

~ 4:00PM Thursday. Meeting Adjourned


Friday, June 3:

The BOT meeting was originally scheduled for June 2 and 3, then changed to a one day meeting.  I found out that they’d set aside June 3 for a closed “training session”.  The last time they did this BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelms kicked Diane Dietz and me out of the room, and the board then met with Vin Lananna about the multi-million dollar TrackTown subsidy plan.

There was no information about the June 3 meeting on the Board’s website. It took a public records request to find out what Friday’s meeting  meeting was about:

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of the agenda and meeting materials for the UO Board of Trustees June 3 “training day” session.I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, and ask for a prompt response given that the meeting takes place on Friday.

I am ccing UO Trustee Susan Gary (Law) as she should have a copy of these public records, and should be able to forward them at minimal expense.

Thanks, Bill Harbaugh

Today I got the agenda and the packet, here. The PRO Office sent their usual zipped pdf. It seems they are using a lossy compression algorithm designed to make reproduction and character-recognition more difficult:Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.44.49 PM

But GC Kevin Reed was kind enough to send the original, no charge:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.45.34 PM

Haven’t had time to read it, but it seems to be about how to perform your due diligence as a member of a university board. What a great idea, because the past three years of Chuck Lillis’s leadership have been pretty rocky.

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3 Responses to June 2 Board meeting, continued:

  1. Dog says:

    On Coltrane and his clusters of excellence presentation

    Did he distinguish between offers made and offers accepted?

    At the moment, there is an important difference

  2. Alec H. Boyd says:

    Wish you’d relay more about the Deady Hall discussion. I heard Jerry Rust was one the speakers opposing re-naming.

    I assume William Lloyd Garrison came up because Judge Deady became friends with Henry Villard in the 1870s when Villard came to Portland. Villard was married to Garrison’s daughter, Helen Frances Garrison. It was due to Deady that Villard paid off UO’s debts in 1883 leading to the (uncontroversial) naming of Villard Hall after him.

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