Office of Resilience used CAS faculty as unwitting, unpaid test subjects for consulting company

Unpaid isn’t quite the right word though. Apparently Le Duc paid the consultants. This is nuts. Chief Resilience Officer Andre Le Duc:

… The project we are doing with CAS is a pilot project designed to test the tool at a US university.  Resilient Organizations has been using the benchmark tool in New Zealand and Australia for nearly a decade. …

Prof Michael Hames-Garcia had this to say to Resilient Organizations, Ltd:

From: MHG <mhamesg@uoregon.edu>
Date: Thursday, 8 November 2018 at 10:44 AM
To: Kaylene Sampson <kaylene.sampson@resorgs.org.nz>
Subject: Re: Reminder: We want your opinion

I won’t be replying to this [survey request] because it is the most absurd waste of time and money I have ever seen at this university. I know all of my colleagues feel similarly.

Michael

While “absurd” was not one of the allowable survey responses in the 12 pages of questions I managed to get through, Michael seems to have struck a nerve with the consultant:

From: Kaylene Sampson <kaylene.sampson@resorgs.org.nz
Sent: November 7, 2018 1:48:30 PM PST
To: MHG <mhamesg@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Reminder: We want your opinion

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your feedback. [see below]. It’s unfortunate that you view the efforts of the office of Safety and Risk Services in such a light. I can assure you that the College is not funding this project, but rather it is being run from the budget of that office – I’d be happy to connect you with the right people to speak to, in order to clarify that, should you wish to do so.

In the meantime, we would still value your opinion. It’s important that all views are captured, and it seems like you have some strong ones that are equally as valid.

Thanks for your time,

Kaylene Sampson, Senior Research Consultant, w: www.resorgs.org.nz

So LeDuc’s office is paying these consultants *and* allowing them to use us as their guinea pigs? Wow. In any case I’ve filed a complaint with the UO’s Internal Auditor, asking her to look into the potential conflicts of interest with this survey and provide guidance on how to avoid this in the future. I received this response:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for following up.  I do acknowledge receipt of the email below.  Our office’s process for investigation is to first identify criteria (gain an understanding of policies, procedures, laws, etc. that identify the expectation for how a process should work).  We also gain an understanding of what is actually happening and report on the gaps.  Any areas where there is no criteria, we still try to apply the ‘best practice’ approach to provide guidance to the unit.  Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Trisha Burnett, CPA, CIA, CFE, Chief Auditor | Office of Internal Audit

What is Internal Audit? Check out this message from President Schill: https://internalaudit.uoregon.edu/

10/23/2018: Chief Resiliency Officer Andre Le Duc has too much money

Today I and all other CAS employees got an email from some consultant in NZ asking me to respond to a “CAS Resiliency Survey.” I ignored this, until getting a follow-up email from CAS, at which point I clicked on the link. This was a mistake.

This survey, commissioned by UO Associate VP and Chief Resiliency Officer Andre Le Duc, is a bureaucratic classic. I confess that I’ve only answered about 100 of the questions so far. Even with random clicks it’s a serious time commitment. There are a lot of boxes, none particularly relevant to CAS or UO. Le Duc won’t spend his time writing thoughtful questions, but he will ask you to spend yours answering pointless ones.

So I thought I’d take a break and post my response to the only written question:

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17 Responses to Office of Resilience used CAS faculty as unwitting, unpaid test subjects for consulting company

  1. I don’t know which is more ridiculous, that we have a “Chief Resilience Officer” or that we have a Chief Resilience Officer *and* we hire outside consultants to send out a survey for us.

    As you wrote, the survey is awful — extremely long, repetitive, and vague. I finished out of a sense of morbid curiosity. What does my level of agreement with meaningless statements like “We are mindful of how a crisis could affect us” actually indicate?

    Finally, why “resilience” rather than simpler words like planning or preparedness? Does anyone actually think these buzzwords don’t sound inane? I suppose I should be thankful it’s not “strategic resilience.”

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    • uomatters says:

      You’re my hero Raghu. Please tell me the last step is for the Resilience Office to laser print my answers on 8″ I-beams and bolt them to the walls and ceiling of my PLC office, and I’ll finish the thing.

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    • charlie says:

      Just to give some context. I’m looking at a bookmark that doubles as an ad for U of Owe tutoring. Limited free drop in help, but if an undergrad/grad student needs more than that, then they’ll need to pay beteeen $12-$16/hour. You’re paying the Resiliancy person salary and beneds, but the people who actually pay the freight can’t get academic support despite their ballooning student debt.

      At some point, even the most detached high schooler, either in our outta state, will realize this is a mugs game. I can assure that’s happening far more rapidly than some of you would like to know…

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    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      Why not “enhanced strategic resilience”! I’m sure can be easily had for another $100K/yr.

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    • daffyduck says:

      If you liked that, you’ll love this: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/office-sustainability (and the mini-me version https://emu.uoregon.edu/sustainability)

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  2. Hippo says:

    I’m too busy trying to be excellent to have the time to respond to spam, even if it comes from CAS.

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    • Dog says:

      well in that case you missed the key question

      CAS is resilient against being excellent ….

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  3. Dog says:

    I said this before on another thread so will amplify it here. Take the survey and answer I Don’t Know to every question – that might wake them up.

    Also, feel fee to improvise on the other issue, as illustrated by UO matters, although personally, I now believe that the only building left standing in the next Cascade MegaThrust event, will be Johnson Hall

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  4. daffyduck says:

    Never assume. They might just be cooperating with an undergrad Psych student’s term project.

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  5. Just Another Volunteer says:

    Wondering is this is related:

    https://www.resorgs.org.nz/our-services/resilience-benchmarking/

    https://www.resorgs.org.nz/about-us__trashed/our-people/

    Looks like they started with earthquakes and moved on to organizational culture

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  6. Canard says:

    “Johnson Hall putsch forces respected dean to resign.” Comment of the week. Please come by the UO Matters office to collect your University of Nike swag.

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    • uomatters says:

      Make it bottle of Balvenie – and what’s your office address?

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  7. Dog says:

    Wait a minute, I am sure I answered one of the questions as:

    Like this survey, JH is also an absurdity

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  8. Hippo says:

    “I can assure you that the College is not funding this project, but rather it is being run from the budget of that office”.

    Huh? My reading of ordinary English is “being run from the budget” means “funded by” but hey, what do I know? I’m just one of the rank-and-file around here holding the UO back from the highest achievement in the burgeoning field of Excellence.

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    • uomatters says:

      I’m no economist, but I think this Senior Research Consultant is trying to say that UO’s Safety and Risk Services office is paying the tab for this resilience absurdity, not CAS. Implying, of course, that our consultants think the time of CAS employees is worth $0. I wonder what they’re billing Le Duc per hour?

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      • Hippo says:

        I was confused by the relative pronoun “that” which had an ambiguous antecedent. But as I stated, I am lacking distinction in the general field of Excellence, including reading comprehension.

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