Search committees, meet your mandatory new admin “thought partners”

Budget crisis? Not in our bloated Provost’s office, which has just issued new rules micro-managing whatever faculty searches get through the Provost’s Institutional Hiring Plan. All without UO Senate input or consent. I’ve added a few of the salaries of our new administrative thought partners, to give some perspective on where our limited hiring money is now going. So far as I know only one of the administrators who will now be supervising UO’s tenure track faculty searches has a PhD and has themselves been through the academic hiring process (Alex-Assensoh):

Active Recruitment Team

The ART is comprised of the following members, with their ART roles noted in parentheses:

    • [$197,925 a year] Melanie Muenzer* (team lead), Office of the Provost, associate vice president and vice provost for academic initiatives
    • [$253,173 a year] Yvette Alex-Assensoh* (ART senior advisor), Division of Equity and Inclusion, vice president
    • [$131,092 a year] Nancy Nieraeth* (HR recruitment expert), Human Resources, director of talent acquisition
    • Anna Shamble* (ART project manager), Office of the Provost, senior project manager
    • Ben Young (ART faculty advisor), College of Arts and Sciences, dean fellow and associate professor in Mathematics
    • TTF TBD* (ART faculty advisor)
    • TTF TBD* (ART faculty advisor)
    • TTF TBD* (ART faculty advisor)
    • [$135,000 a year] Jeslyn Everitt (legal advisor), Office of the General Counsel, assistant general counsel
    • Dan Currier (data specialist), Human Resources, interim project manager
    • Robert Garral (research specialist), Office of the Provost, interim project manager

*These members of the ART also serve as a point of contact for TTF searches. Please note that ART points of contact are not responsible for ensuring compliance requirements such as completing the search disposition summary (what happened with each candidate, such as did they meet the minimum qualifications) at the end of each search.

ART search contacts are responsible for the following:

    • Meeting with the search chair and committee at the beginning of the search
    • Approving the committee’s Search Plan
    • Offering advice and guidance to the search committee on ways to broaden the pool of candidates
    • Working with the committee to review data that describes the demographics of the available pool of candidates compared to the actual applicant pool to determine if the applicant pool is appropriately representative [UOM: UO was late again in compiling these data, but they are now posted at https://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/affirmative-action/affirmative-action-plans]
    • Providing guidance and serving as a thought partner to the search committee during the review of candidates including the steps to select candidates for phone or online interviews, invitations for campus visits, and final selection
    • As needed, making recommendations to the provost on extensions or continuation of searches that may be struggling to recruit candidates or have challenges during the review and selection phases of the search
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16 Responses to Search committees, meet your mandatory new admin “thought partners”

  1. Bad thought partner says:

    Does my thought partner get paid twice as much as I do because they think twice as hard?

  2. Classified thought partner says:

    Does my thought partner get paid TEN TIMES as much as I do because they think TEN TIMES as hard?

    • uomatters says:

      Let’s face it, no successful regime goes cheap on their thought police. I mean partners.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    I wonder who is behind this. Surely Schill.

    Does higher ed even care how bad this looks to half of the public who are coming to despise us?

    To say nothing of the faculty who are going to hate the administrators for this?

  4. Conservative duck says:

    Nepotism in the 21st century!

  5. Cheyney Ryan says:

    FACULTY V ADMINISTRATORS: I am only here for part of each year, so forgive me if my point is off the mark. All of this apparatus seems designed to “increase the representation of women and underrepresented communities” in the faculty–a worthy goal. But didn’t the adm just conduct a search for Provost without any of these controls/targets/etc to achieve the same goal in top administration? Two comments: [1] I came to the U of O in 1974–and in 45 years (!), the U of O has had exactly ONE woman Provost (for two years) and NO women Presidents. At Oxford, where I spend the rest of my time, the head of the university is a woman, the head of my college is a woman, and women hold three of the five top adm positions. Somehow they can find “qualified” women, but the U of Oregon can’t. [2] I tried to submit a comment the Provost Search Committee this past spring (from England) related to diversity issues. I ultimately received a message from the university legal office (!) discouraging me from doing so. Apparently someone is policing how Provost searches are run.

    • Deplorable Duck says:

      If proportional representation of the sexes in the administration is a goal, should we not also be shooting for proportional representation of the sexes in admissions? Or alternatively, what’s the rationale for thinking these cases differ?

      • ScienceDuck says:

        I think the goal is to have some representation beyond “minimal” in the top level of administration. But maybe I misunderstood your comment…are you talking about the 10,000 women versus 9,000 men undergrad representation as something that you see as requiring immediate balancing? This is where you think energy should be devoted?

      • Rubashov says:

        Back to mandatory training for you! A public apology will also be expected. A thought partner will assist you with the text.

    • Alum-inati says:

      The provost search was theatrics, they knew who they wanted.

  6. FGI says:

    Because the capture of Higher Education by the Administrative Class is going so well so far …

    • Cassie says:

      But look how complete the capture is! You cannot oppose the administrative coup over the professoriate–you cannot defend the essence of the university– without appearing to oppose the goal of diversity, which would be your social-professional death. At the same time that you are silenced, your numbers decline and administrative power grows.

      Once academic hiring and promotion are fully institutionally integrated under the reign of administrators (say, an IHP and thought partners), there is not a whole lot left, except for a self-protecting, burgeoning bureaucracy that feeds off families and taxes, owns the confiscated brand of the “university,” and has the right to grant signaling degrees. Oh–and maybe an externally supported campus that is partly insulated against all this.

  7. LArdman says:

    I’m glad the University will finally be capable of thought. Things can only go up from here.

  8. Cassie says:

    Honestly, although this makes a diseased bureaucratic sense, it is also one of the many ways public universities are committing institutional suicide. People will not go on supporting universities much longer. They will not go on forever forfeiting their family wealth or consigning their children to lifelong debt or default. They will not pay thought partners willingly. The administration and the university bureaucracies are playing each other, but they will both lose.

  9. Raspootin' says:

    Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy (source, https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html)

    “In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:

    First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

    Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

    The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.”

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