Native American Students Association protests Pioneer statue

11-2 today. Thanks to a reader for the tip:

As you know, “The Pioneer” is a statue that glorifies white supremacy
and settler-colonial violence against people of color, especially Native

NASU is holding a protest to take the statue down THIS WEDNESDAY
from 11am to 2pm. Please pass this on to your membership to attend!
We’ll have signs but feel free to BYOS (bring your own signs) as well.
See you there!

More in the Emerald here. In unrelated news, Harbor Freight has a good deal on an appropriate winch for a midnight removal to the Pioneer Cemetery – at least until the Trump Tarriffs kick in:

Board of Trustees to meet Wed, Th on tuition, etc

See below for some light live-blogging. So far my takeaway is that most of the trustees haven’t done their homework and are asking softball questions, when they have any questions at all.

Note that Wednesday’s public committee meetings and the executive (closed) meeting of the board are in the Art Museum, starting at 8:30, while Thursday’s full Board meeting is in the Alumni Center, starting at 9:30.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms buries the agenda information in pdf files deep within the Board’s website, so as usual I have put it in more accessible form below. I’ll add some clips later and do some live-blogging.

Wed 8:3o AM Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Finance and Facilities Committee

Meeting materials here. Note that, as usual, the Trustees have only been given the information about budget planning today, presumably so that they won’t have had time to digest it and ask tough questions. The new packet is here.

I assume that Board Chair Chuck Lillis learned this trick when he was on the board of Washington Mutual as it collapsed in one of the largest bankruptcies in history, leaving stockholders with 2 cents on the dollar.

For some reason Lillis has left his WaMu service and the lawsuits about the board’s failure to conduct due diligence off his UO Trustees biosketch:

1. Housing Transformation Capital Project – Authorization for Preliminary Expenditures (Action): Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management; Michael Griffel, Assistant Vice President and Director of University Housing

Sorry missed most of this. No coffee for the plebes.

2. Critical Business Functions Audit Project – Report and Update: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

The usual.

3. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

As usual Jamie focuses the discussion narrowly on the E&G budget, and doesn’t talk about what the administration talk about – e.g. the subsidies for athletics and the law school – which were supposed to be phased out by now but which instead continue to grow:

4. Financial Reports and Discussion: Savings Initiatives, Expenditure Reduction Efforts, and LongTerm Financial Projections: Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Jamie explains that UO is making significant administrative cuts from what is already a low level. Allyn Ford says that if this continues maybe the university should consider substantial program cuts. I assume he means the baseball program.

Ross Kari asks if Jamie can calculate what % tuition increases of this period would be needed.

Chuck Lillis points out that the problem is not costs, it’s revenue. Too little tuition, too little state support, too little donations. These, of course, are the problems that the UO Board was supposed to address, and which it has consistently failed at. Except for increasing tuition – they’re great at that.

Schill points out that, because we are unionized, the administration can’t arbitrarily freeze or cut faculty salaries during a recession, while continuing to subsidize themselves and the coaches. Yea union!

Short break.

5. FY20 Budget and Expenditure Authority Authorization (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Approved, sent to full board.

6. Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Overview: Rob Mullens, Athletic Director; Eric Roedl, Deputy Athletic Director

As usual, they Ducks have prepared a flashy presentation. Will the trustees ask them any tough questions? Some obvious ones:

The university is in a budget crisis. Why aren’t you helping out by reducing your costs?

Why hasn’t the millions we spend on the Ducks lead to increased out of state enrollment?

Do you think your bragging and profligate spending on coaches’s salaries and shiny new facilities are part of the reason the Legislature doesn’t want to give UO more money? Because that’s what the legislators say.

Why do you keep pushing the costs of the Duck’s legal problems onto the rest of the university?

Yours is a risky business. Now, it makes no difference to me how a man makes his living, but don’t you think you should have more than a week of expenses in reserves? Or do you just plan on hitting up the academic side for more subsidies when you get another lawsuit?

When do you think the news about the most recent sexual assaults by your players will become public?

What do you think about the fact that the UO Foundation has withdrawn its guarantee for the 2021 IAAF championships?

Trustee Ginevra Ralph doesn’t ask anything above, but she does ask how one-and-done’s reflect on UO’s academic mission. Mullens says everyone else does it.

Meeting Adjourns


Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Meeting materials here.

Executive Session re Labor Negotiations

The Board of Trustees will meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) for purposes of conducting deliberations regarding labor negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. This session is closed to members of the public and the media. The meeting will be called to order and adjourned. No other topics or matters will occur on May 22. Notwithstanding the location listed above, this May 22 executive session will occur in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Wed 1:30 PM Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Public meeting of Executive and Audit Committee

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Audit Report and FY20 Audit Plan (Action): Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

Burnett reports that the number of reports to UO’s ethics hotline are unusually low for a university or size. Presumably this is because of the lack of trust that many UO staff and faculty have in her office – which has had a mixed past. The link to the hotline is here. As you can see you can report all sorts of things, anonymously:

Ginevra Ralph asks about the independent audit of the internal auditors. It turns out it’s not really that independent – it’s done by the internal auditors professional association.

Pres Schill asks about the audit of university committees. Burnett reports it’s a bit of a look at internal Governance. Schill asks if the audit will include Senate committees. Good question. Burnett says the intention is to start at the top, which I assume means the President and Provost’s committees.

Committee approves report.

2. Semi-Annual Enterprise Risk Update: Andre LeDuc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer

I’d sort of thought this would include some actual information about the cost of UO’s various insurance policies, athletics riders, deductibles, payouts, etc. Nope. It’s all buzzwords and silly diagrams:

3. Semi-Annual Transform IT and Information Services Report: Jessie Minton, Chief Information Officer

Sorry, end of today’s live-blogging. I’ve got to get ready for the Senate meeting. See you tomorrow at 9:30AM and the Alumni Center.

4. New Program Proposal – PhD in Planning and Public Affairs (Action): Rich Margerum, Professor and School Head for Planning, Public Policy and Management

Meeting Adjourns


Full Board meeting.

Meeting materials here.

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum

– Approval of March 2019 summary (Action)
– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos and Incoming ASUO Vice President Montse Mendez and Chief of Staff Hibo Abtidon -Incoming Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

2. Provost’s and President’s Reports

3. Undergraduate Resident Tuition (Action): Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

Recess: Estimated to Reconvene at 1:00 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending May 22 committee action)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Capital Construction Project (Housing Project Preliminary Costs) –Seconded Motion from FFC: FY20 Expenditure Temporary Authorization

5. Student Conduct Code Changes (Action): Kris Winter, Dean of Students

6. A Look at PERS: Tim Nesbitt, Interim Deputy Director of PERS Solutions for Public Services and former Higher Education Coordinating Commission Chair; John Tapogna, President and Partner, ECONorthwest economic research and consulting firm

7. Academic Area in Focus – ShakeAlert, ALERTWidlfire, and the Emerging Internet of (Wild) Things: Professor Doug Toomey, Earth Sciences

Meeting Adjourned

UO Senate to meet Wed May 22nd: Elections, Online ed, CAS, FPC, governance, Core Ed

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms)
3:00 – 5:00 P.M.

3:00 P.M.   Call to order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Bill Harbaugh

3:15 PM   Approval of Minutes

3:16 PM     Business / Reports:

  • Report: Faculty Personnel Committee; Jack Boss (Music)
  • Legislative Update; Melanie Muenzer (Assoc VP Vice Provost of Academic Initiatives)

4:42 PM   Open Discussion
4:43 PM   Other Reports
4:44 PM   Notice(s) of Motion
4:45 PM   Other Business

  • Executive Session: Awards

5:00 PM   Adjourn to Faculty Club, all invited!

“Oregon Promise” shifted students from 4-year to community colleges

From InsideHigherEd, here. Read it all. The intro:

Boost for Community Colleges Means 1-Year Bust for Universities

New analysis of Oregon Promise tuition-free scholarship program found that it increased community college enrollment but decreased enrollment at four-year institutions in the first year, and that fewer first-generation and low-income students benefited financially than expected.

CONFIDENTIAL: search committee sideswipes 1/2 Price Provost run

Update: The Chronicle’s Zipporah Osei has an interview with me here (gated off campus).

Q. Do you think you would’ve been able to work with the administration, given the reputation you have with your blog?

A. Ironically, I have a very good working relationship with the university’s current president, Michael H. Schill. I think I’m actually one of his strongest faculty supporters. I’ve been serving as Senate president this year, and I was Senate president two years ago. I’ve been able to work with people in the administration to do some really good things for the University of Oregon. The most recent example would be the teaching-evaluations reform.

5/20/2019: I’m not really sure why this would be CONFIDENTIAL. I applied for the job of provost at a public university, and I didn’t get an interview. Surely that’s all public record – isn’t it?

From: University of Oregon Search <>
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL – Thank you for your application
Date: May 20, 2019 at 11:18:48 AM PDT
To: William Harbaugh <>

Dear Bill,

Thank you very much for your application for the position of Provost and Senior Vice President. The search committee gave very careful consideration to your application. We are sorry to inform you that you have not been selected for an interview.

We appreciate your interest in this important position and that you took the time to send us your application. Decisions of this sort are never easy, and we appreciate your desire to serve the University of Oregon.


[signed, search committee co-chairs]

I can only speculate as to why they refused to interview me. I did agree to a criminal background check, but my lawyer said that thing in Pocatello was expunged and not to worry.

Perhaps the committee has decided to take up Raghu’s 45% Provost offer?  Or maybe this student senator’s 25% offer – they clearly have a bright administrative career ahead of them:

“I will offer my bid to be “Quarter Priced Provost” and will do whatever President Schill tells me to do. I think I have a shot!”

In any case, I did get this great letter of recommendation from union president Chris Sinclair, which I’ll keep on file until the job opens up again:

VP for Communication Kyle Henley limits communication and trust

The email sent on his behalf below would seem to go against the advice in President Schill’s Open Mike from last week, which said:

  • Transparency is the best policy. Whenever possible administrators should be as forthcoming as possible, subject to the privacy rights of members of our community.

as well as UO’s Academic Freedom Policy, which states:

The University of Oregon encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to the university community. The University of Oregon protects free speech through Policy No. 01.00.16. This policy on Academic Freedom builds on these existing commitments by recognizing the special contexts of scholarship, teaching, governance, and public service.  …

c. POLICY AND SHARED GOVERNANCE. Members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the email:

Update: Millions from staff and students, not a cent from Duck athletics or Law

5/20/2019 update:

President Schill has sent his tuition increase recommendations to the BOT, below. His proposal cuts TFAB’s support for low income students, keeps the LERC and museum cuts, and leaves athletic subsidies untouched. The TFAB’s proposal was for a progressive increase in financial aid as tuition increased. Pres Schill’s recommendation is for only $350K in new financial aid, and that only if the tuition increase goes above 5%, the level which triggers HECC review.

Meanwhile, the “temporary” budget funding for law school scholarships increases by $190K. Of the $44M in fee remissions President Schill mentions below, $7M or goes to UO’s ~410 law school students, for an average of $17,100 each, per year. (I don’t know how it’s split up). The other $37M is divided among UO’s 22,350 other students, for an average of $1,650.

5/20/2019 Letter from Pres Schill:

Continue reading

Open Mike from Pres Schill on rumor control

I am the first person to admit that I am not an expert when it comes to social media and the way that information is consumed, created, and shared in our digital-first world. I like to follow friends on Facebook and I fully appreciate that Instagram and Snapchat are among the preferred communications channels of many University of Oregon students, but I am not personally active on social media. In so many ways our society and lives are better for the speed, power, and access that comes from living in the digital age, but there are times when it also comes at a cost. Over the last weekend, we experienced one such moment at the UO, when the rapid circulation of misinformation on social media unnecessarily created a problem—or the perception of a problem—on our campus.
Early Saturday morning, a member of the UO community—a person in the midst of a mental health crisis according to family members—posted on social media some things that rightfully caused concern. The original posts did not threaten the campus, threaten physical harm to an individual or forewarn a shooting. Still, the posting was of such a nature that it did catch the eye of the University of Oregon Police Department, which leapt into action. Within about 12 hours, UOPD officers had humanely contacted the individual and helped the person seek appropriate care. As the family noted on Monday, the individual is “under secure care this week.” I want to thank and acknowledge UOPD for the way officers handled a very sensitive situation. It was superb. They recognized a member of the community in need, responded empathetically, delivered support, and ensured campus safety. They do it every day in ways both big and small, and most of us never know it.
The fact is that UOPD had already successfully addressed the situation before it started to spread on social media Saturday. It is not completely clear whether the rumor machine started by word-of-mouth or online, but campus community members were posting pictures of the individual on social media with the message that, according to one post that was widely shared, the person “was allegedly planning a shooting on Monday” on the UO campus. That allegation was baseless and not part of the individual’s original social media post, but the viral nature of spreading social media fear had a resonating impact across campus. Students groups saw the posts and cancelled meetings. Faculty members, deans and staffers wondered whether they needed to do anything within their units: Were classes going to be cancelled Monday? Should we lock classroom doors?
The university activated our UO Alerts system—usually reserved for extremely urgent public safety messages—on Sunday to let campus know that there was no threat and that campus operations were not going to be interrupted. It is not often that you have to resort to using crisis communications tools to let people know there is no crisis. In fact, sending the message at some level seemed to only heighten the tension. People who had not been aware of the issue, suddenly became worried. Even after we sent the UO Alerts texts and emails trying to allay concerns, we learned that some people did not trust the message from UOPD. Calls and viral social media sharing of the incorrect information did not drop off. We felt it necessary to use the alerts system again on Monday to deliver a message from the individual’s family that the person was receiving care and reiterating that the original messages did not contain the language or threats alleged by others.
We are asking ourselves a lot of questions after-the-fact. Could we have somehow stopped the rumor mill before it got out of control? Maybe, but I am honestly not sure how. As a society, we are seeing this phenomena play out much more frequently. This was the first time we have had to deal with something like this at the UO since I arrived. Was it appropriate to use a mass communication tool to respond to an internet rumor? I think, yes, in this instance, but it comes at a cost. Could our messaging have been clearer? Perhaps; it is possible that we shared too little in our first message. We had a team of law enforcement, communications, and legal experts working diligently and very quickly to balance the public’s right to know with an individual’s right to privacy. That is a very difficult, sometimes impossible, task. In fact, it really is the crux of the challenge we face in these types of situations.
So, what are the take-aways from this Open Mike? For me, it boils down to a few things:
  • Do not spread rumors. We all have a responsibility to know what we are talking about and be informed before we speak or post. That is true whether we are sharing something on social media, talking with a student in our office, kibitzing at the faculty club, or commenting on an online forum. Remember, words have consequences.
  • Take appropriate action. Immediately and directly share information or concerns about a possible threat to the community. Do not simply share on social media. Call 9-1-1, or contact police at non-emergency numbers: UOPD 541-346-2919; Eugene Police 541-682-5111. If you are concerned about a student and it is a non-emergency, complete a report to the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • Transparency is the best policy. Whenever possible administrators should be as forthcoming as possible, subject to the privacy rights of members of our community.
  • Let’s learn to trust. I get it, we have all become desensitized to being lied to by leaders and institutions we are supposed to trust. It is a sad commentary on our national political climate that we are not shocked by it anymore. However, universities are communities of scholars, and academic communities are built on trust with a healthy dose of skepticism thrown in. Skepticism is a good thing in moderation, but let’s stop assuming that our colleagues—even those who are administrators—are driven by malevolent or self-serving motives. And let’s stand up against those in our community who spread innuendo and seek to undermine trust with falsehoods.
I truly appreciate all that you do to serve the UO and our students every day. It is an incredible honor to be your president. Thank you for indulging another one of my Open Mikes.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Kevin Reed’s office tried to hide cap & trade lobbying records

5/17/2019 update:

The Oregonian’s Rob Davis reveals still more of the documents UO tried to hide from the public, including more new information about the redactions by Kevin Reed’s Public Record Office.

If I understand the story right, Reed’s office let the lobbying group decide what UO should redact from UO’s public records. They made some interesting choices. Weird. Full story here with links to all the records:

What UO didn’t want the public to know about industry group’s climate bill opposition

… The newly released documents documents include the alliance’s legislative updates, lobbyist reports and memorandums to members. The university originally contended portions of the documents were protected by the attorney-client privilege and by an exemption allowing material submitted confidentially to be withheld in very narrow circumstances.

Ed Finklea, the alliance’s natural gas director, told The Oregonian/OregonLive it was the energy alliance’s attorney who made the redactions when the university released the records. Molly Blancett, a school spokeswoman, said the university “always solicits the input of third parties when it comes to their records that have made their way to the university’s possession.”

The clean documents show a consistent theme in what was initially redacted: References to potential benefits of Brown’s proposed climate change bill. …

5/14/2019 update:

I have it from a generally reliable source that, as of yesterday, UO has withdrawn its membership in AWEC, the industry group that is lobbying against Governor Brown’s Cap and Trade legislation.

5/12/2019: It backfired. Rob Davis has the story in the Oregonian, here. A few snippets:

Continue reading

Prof Harbaugh announces candidacy as “The Half-Price Provost”

5/14/2019 update:  I’ll be submitting my application tonight, and I’ll post it along with letters of recommendation. Thanks for your support.

 4/28/2019: Dear Colleagues –

I am writing to ask for your support for my candidacy as UO Provost. I’ll be submitting a full application per President Schill’s call, but my campaign platform is simple:

  1. I’m cheap. I’ll do the job for just $250,000 – half the going rate. And, since I drive a paid-off ’87 GMC Caballero, I’ll donate the $12,000 car stipend to SAIL for scholarships.
  2. I’ll keep Johnson Hall’s focus on core academic matters – not distractions like “research metrics”, faculty tracking software, Concur, and big-time sports.
  3. I think UO should tax Duck coaches salaries, not subsidize them. The tax revenue should go towards the university’s academic, cultural, and extension missions.
  4. I’m transparent. If I can’t make “Around the O” tell us what’s really happening at UO and show us where the money’s really going, I’ll keep blogging on UO Matters – but from the inside.

My only non-negotiable demand is two reserved parking spots, since my ride is a bit wider than the usual JH beemer or Prius.

CAS attempts to explain Tykeson advising transition

Well, at least the building has nice new offices for the deans and VP for Equity and Inclusion. Rumor has it that the new Tykeson advisors will receive just 2 hours of training from departments over the summer, before they start advising students in the fall. Link here, full text below:

Tykeson Hall Update

As we near completion of Tykeson Hall construction and prepare to welcome students in fall term, I want to share our progress on operational aspects of the building.

The building is scheduled to be completed this summer, with staff moving in during the second half of August. Searches for the 20+ new professional advisors we will be hiring are nearing completion and offers are going out soon. These will be combined with the existing professional advisors in our College for a team of 31 advisors.

There were more than 300 applications for these new positions in a very competitive pool. Training of these advisors will be led by Gene Sandan, our new Director of College and Career Advising and the staff of Undergraduate Education and Student Success (UESS). UO has also successfully completed its search for a director of the University Career Center and we look forward to welcoming Paul Timmins—who comes to us from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts—when he arrives in August.

What does this mean for CAS departments and their majors? We have met with department advising personnel, held working sessions, and done research to understand this as best as we can and to plan Tykeson Hall advising accordingly. However, because advising in each CAS department has grown organically into its own unique model over the decades, the advising landscape across our departments and programs is sort of like a box of chocolates—every single department/program does it differently, provides different types of services, and has different thoughts about what advising services are most important for their students.

Consequently, out of these conversations, we have developed a set of Advising Guidelines. These provide a picture of what we’ve learned from individual departments and also outline what we can expect Tykeson advisors to offer our students and what will generally be handled by other advisors on campus, including in our departments and programs. It is important to note that these guidelines provide a comprehensive list of all the possible advising duties/roles that a particular type of advisor may perform. If your department/program is not currently providing some of the things we have listed under the department advising personnel, no one is requiring that you start doing so now.

As a general summary of these guidelines, Tykeson advisors will take on the day-to-day academic and career advising for departments, while referring students to departments for such things as curricular-related matters, graduate school opportunities, and honors requirements. The hope is that this will free up some departments to pivot into other student success activities—ranging from coordinating more student engagement activities to developing more experiential learning opportunities. But, again, I will stress that pivoting to these new activities is NOT a requirement of departments and programs. I should also stress that we are not asking faculty to stop mentoring—and caring for—their students’ well-being. From its very beginnings, the Tykeson Hall vision has involved the creation of a campus advising hub, so exploring students in particular—and all those many students who never see any advisor at all—know where to go to get basic advice that will allow them to better plan for and pursue their academic and career goals.

There will be one difference across departments that is important to point out. The vast majority of CAS departments will not experience any change in their existing advising personnel as we open the building. However, in order to staff Tykeson properly in this time of constrained budgets, we will be transferring any existing professionaladvisors in CAS departments to Tykeson this summer. This will affect at most six departments, and we have been having substantial conversations with them about the transition. The potential for disruption for them is clearly much greater than in those units without a professional advisor, and we need to quickly ensure that we can take care of their majors through this transition and into the future.

We share the goal of improving student success on our campus—from better retention and graduation rates to better career readiness when they graduate. This is why I’m so excited about the opening of Tykeson Hall. I understand that any change, especially a significant one like this, is stressful. Transitions are not costless, either. But I want to ask you for your good will and spirit of collaboration to help us make this project successful. We are trying something new. We don’t have it all figured out yet. So, we will keep listening and refining even after the building opens and for many years to come. We’ll need both your assistance and your patience to make it go as smoothly as possible for our students.

There are many more details that we will provide in the coming weeks and months, but I hope this gives everyone a sense of the general plan. There have been recurring concerns from various colleagues, and so I am concluding with responses to some frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Bruce Blonigen
Interim Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences


This new Tykeson advising enterprise looks like a major undertaking. Won’t it just increase workload for departments, especially in the transition?

With the hiring of more than 20 new professional advisors, we absolutely want to make sure that departments do NOT experience any additional workload from the introduction of Tykeson as we increase student services. Except for no more than six departments that currently have professional advisors who will be moving to Tykeson, we are not making any changes to advising personnel in departments due to the opening of Tykeson.

As with any transition, unexpected things will come up that may suddenly create new questions or work. Please let Gene Sandan and his advising team know this, so we can adjust your workload back to appropriate levels.The Tykeson advising team will have a dedicated liaison for your department, who will be meeting and communicating with your staff frequently; they will be a convenient and ready contact when you have concerns and they will help us fine tune everyone’s advising roles as we all adapt to the Tykeson Hall support model for students. We expect new possibilities for collaboration and support as the new Career Center director transitions into his role.

I’m hearing that Tykeson Hall advising means that CAS departments should no longer advise majors. Is this true?

Tykeson Hall is a partnership among the Division of Undergraduate Education, the University Career Center, and CAS. It is also an emerging partnership among the departments and Tykeson Hall advisors, many of whom have been already advising CAS majors for some time. We believe that students new to UO will be relieved to find an entire building at the center of campus devoted to their advising needs. As the Advising Guidelines emphasize, plenty of advising work will continue to occur in departments. As is the case with any new partnership, we expect that the roles and responsibilities of advisors will continue to evolve over the next few years and we—along with our partners—are committed to troubleshooting any challenges that arise.

Hasn’t CAS already reduced advising FTE for Career NTTF in some departments because they are transitioning all CAS advising to Tykeson?

From a survey of NTTF FTE devoted to non-instructional duties this past March, we found that a handful of departments (less than five) were devoting a disproportionate amount of FTE to advising relative to their number of majors. In response to the directive to cut expenditures in the coming years, we reduced FTE accordingly in these departments. This was an adjustment we would have made anyway and not related to Tykeson Hall.

As described above, while Tykeson will clearly be a hub for CAS major advising, departments will continue to have an important advising role, and we envision the development of a collaborative partnership between Tykeson advisors and departments to the benefit of our students.

Won’t it be most efficient for Tykeson advisors to simply guide students into already well-populated majors, leading to even greater losses in our lesser-known majors?

A primary goal for Tykeson advising will be expose students to our lesser-known majors to a much greater extent than they currently are. And UESS is very much supportive of this goal, too.

Here’s a problem Tykeson could remedy: Students currently come to UO having chosen a major based on relatively little information, typically in response to advice from family and friends. These sources of information often push them into a few career paths that everyone thinks will “get them a job,” and so more than half of our freshmen come to UO declared as pre-health or pre-business majors. Right now, there are two primary ways they might reconsider those choices: 1) if they’re unhappy or not succeeding in those majors, which happens frequently and causes distress, and 2) if they take a general education class and unexpectedly get passionate about something else.

Instead, here’s what Tykeson Hall advising will do:

1) Put all students into a flight path (or meta major) where they will learn about many related academic majors and the career opportunities that are connected to them.

2) Have many more students get connected with an advisor who will push them to think about their skills, passions, and experiences and how these might relate to a variety of academic and career paths.

3) Use the building itself to expose students (through video boards and other means) to many diverse examples of the careers pursued by recent liberal arts CAS alumni and how their career path developed from their major. This is one key strategy we can pursue to highlight lesser-known majors. Lisa Raleigh has been working on these stories and will continue to do so over the summer.

Note that these Tykeson efforts will enhance department’s use of introductory core curriculum courses to get students passionate about their major. We believe that these introductory core curriculum courses remain the most important strategy for gaining majors. And, of course, faculty and staff can continue to utilize any other methods they have to recruit and advise majors.

My department is one of those losing a professional advisor to Tykeson. How will my department be supported during this transition?

The potential for disruption is clearly the greatest for these departments, which is why we have been having many conversations with their head, advisors, and staff. Each of these departments has distinctive needs and concerns that will need to be addressed, and we continue to refine our transition plans with them as we move forward. During the upcoming year, I have asked Gene and our entire staff to prioritize our Tykeson advising services toward meeting the needs of students in these majors, as the other departments in CAS will not see disruptions to their advising personnel. The departments that had professional advisors comprise some of our largest majors in CAS, so we have to work hard and effectively to make sure these majors are well served as Tykeson opens, despite these personnel changes.

PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi gets Gottfredsonesque buy-out

Jeff Manning has the report in the Oregonian here. A snippet:

Shoureshi fired several high level employees. Others quit to get away from him. By last fall, trustees had heard enough complaints to convince them Shoureshi needed a wake-up call.

Castillo and two other trustees, Pete Nickerson and Hinkley, met with him last November and put him on notice that they weren’t happy with his performance as president.

In a follow-up letter dated Nov. 13, Castillo listed the reasons why:

  • “Putting your financial self-interest ahead of the university’s.
  • “Treating staff unprofessionally.
  • “Not giving sufficient consideration to the views or your executive leaders.
  • “Engaging in conduct that could seriously adversely affect the university’s reputation and standing among critical stakeholders and,
  • “Misleading the board.”

In the letter, Castillo detailed one of Shoureshi’s attempts to deceive his own board. Between his salary, a housing stipend and a transportation stipend, the university was paying him about $750,000 a year. But after a year in the job, Shoureshi wanted more. He asked for a 4 percent pay hike, the same as the faculty got, he explained.

The board granted the raise only to later learn that the faculty did not get a 4 percent raise. They got 2.3 percent increases.

Seems a bit odd that PSU’s board didn’t know or care to find out how much the faculty were getting, but I’ve seen stranger things.

I have it from a generally reliable source that the newly appointed acting President, College of Urban and Public Affairs Dean Stephen Percy, is a great choice.