No, I am Spartacus!

Video here. A few years ago it would have seemed silly to restart this long-standing UO tradition, but that was before Brett Kavanaugh. So thanks to the Dean of Students for making it easy to add your name as out or an ally, with a quick online survey:

The OUTList is a list of UO students, faculty, staff, and alumni who wish to publicly acknowledge and celebrate that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, agender, and/or allies (LGBTQIA+). The list will appear in the form of an advertisement placed in the Daily Emerald during the week of October 8 to correspond with National Coming Out Day and our own UO Coming Out Week.

If you are a UO student, alum, faculty, or staff member, and you would like your name to be included on the 2018–19 OUTList, please fill out our survey. To have your name included in the newspaper ad, submissions must be received by 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 1.

 

UO General Counsel Kevin Reed redacts legal advice on splitting the North Campus CUP, public meeting tonight

9/12/2018: I can think of many reasons why UO, a public university, would want to redact the advice it received from one of its outside attorneys (and the response from the University Architect) on whether or not it would be a good idea to split the CUP request into two parts:

Not all of them are nefarious. However, UO’s case for using the attorney-client privilege exemption in Oregon’s public records law is weakened by our administration’s willingness to talk about that advice when it suits their purposes. A public agency can’t tell the public “our lawyers have advised us that we shouldn’t split the CUP” and then use the public records law to redact the actual advice they received. Or at least that’s what Oregon law says:

2017 ORS 40.280Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure

A person upon whom ORS 40.225 (Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege) to 40.295 (Rule 514. Effect on existing privileges) confer a privilege against disclosure of the confidential matter or communication waives the privilege if the person or the person’s predecessor while holder of the privilege voluntarily discloses or consents to disclosure of any significant part of the matter or communication.  …

And yet here is the statement from UO President Schill to the UO Senate, in his May 11th response to the Senate’s North Campus resolution, disclosing a significant part of the very communication that GC Reed subsequently redacted:

(President Schill’s letter is on the UO Senate website here. Thanks to a helpful reader for the UO documents, which were redacted by UO GC Kevin Reed’s Public Records Office. Full pdf here. )

9/10/2018: North Campus public hearing 5:30 this Wed, 125 East 8th Ave

Last spring the UO Senate had a long and interesting debate about the proposal, then overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the university administration to divide the CUP application along the railroad tracks and go ahead with the part south of the tracks (needed for Knight Campus), while redoing the proposal for north of the tracks to make sure it would be preserved as an natural amenity and site for ecology fieldwork.

The administration went ahead with the application for both parcels anyway, and the city has scheduled the meeting for public input for Sept 12th, when many faculty and students are out of town. More documents here, including many public comments submitted in advance.

http://pdd.eugene-or.gov/LandUse/SearchApplicationDocuments?file=CU-18-0001

Kevin Reed’s PR Office now redacting public records *requests*

Say what you will about Dave Hubin’s management of UO’s Public Records Office, but at least when Dave was in charge they only redacted responses:

Under Kevin Reed, they’re now redacting the requests too.

On Friday I submitted two requests: one for three recent contract proposals, the other for a copy of the resolution of a recent investigation of UO by Betsy DeVos’s Office of Civil Rights. Plenty of public interest there!

The first request, as I emailed it to the PRO:

This is a public records request for the winning proposal and score sheets for the following RFP’s:

Request for Proposal for Lobbying Consulting Services
Solicitation Number: PCS# 500100-00124-RFP

RFQ for Brand Awareness Study
Solicitation Number: PCS# 520200-00134-RFQ

Strategic Planning Consulting Services
Solicitation Number: PCS# 110400-00026-RFQ

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I’m ccing Interim Director Greg Shabram, as he should have these documents readily at hand.

Thanks, Bill Harbaugh

But the PR log posting of this request redacts the requests for the “Brand Awareness” and “Strategic Planning Consulting” winning proposals, and also my request for a fee waiver:

A request for a fee-waiver is a secret?

The second request was for info about the Dept of Ed Office of Civil Rights investigation announced on Around the O a few months back, and now rumoured to have settled by negotiation between UO and OCR. My email:

This is a request for:

1) a copy of any resolution agreements or similar, between OCR and the University of Oregon, from Jan 1 2018 to the present.

2) any correspondence between OCR and the University of Oregon related to OCR investigations, from Jan 1 2018 to the present.

I would appreciate receiving these records as pdfs sent to this email address. I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

Thanks, Bill Harbaugh

That request simply doesn’t exist, at least according to the PR log as of  Sept 11. Weird:

09/11/2018 Contracts Stanchak, Brian Records Provided
09/10/2018 Contracts Houston, Henry Records Provided
09/07/2018 Reports Jacoby, Kenny Awaiting Payment from Requester
09/06/2018 RFP Harbaugh, Bill Records Exempt From Disclosure
09/05/2018 Personnel Records Blutstein, Allan Awaiting Payment from Requester
09/04/2018 Records Nguyen, Ryan Requesting/Reviewing Records
09/04/2018 Housing Costs Nguyen, Ryan Records Provided
09/04/2018 Records Nguyen, Ryan Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/31/2018 Directory Information Doyle, Brandon Awaiting Payment from Requester
08/31/2018 RFP Martin, Roger Records Exempt From Disclosure
08/30/2018 Contracts Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
08/30/2018 RFPs, scoresheet Thornton, Amy Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/30/2018 RFPs, contract Bejcek, Kent Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/29/2018 Correspondence Fekadu, Safe Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/29/2018 RFPs, scoresheet Thornton, Amy Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/29/2018 RFPs, scoresheet Thornton, Amy Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/29/2018 RFP Selle, Kendra Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/29/2018 RFP Thornton, Amy No Responsive Records
08/29/2018 RFP Thornton, Amy Records Provided
08/29/2018 RFP Thornton, Amy Records Provided
08/28/2018 Procedures Steinbaugh, Adam Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/28/2018 Contract Carey, Erin Records Provided
08/27/2018 Video Gimm, Vickie Awaiting Clarification from Requester
08/24/2018 RFPs, scoresheet Noonan, Julia Records Exempt From Disclosure
08/24/2018 RFP Shea, Michael Records Provided
08/23/2018 RFPs Gladden, Kelsey Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/22/2018 Correspondence Bauman, Dan Awaiting Payment from Requester
08/22/2018 Contract Bonagura, Kyle Records Provided
08/22/2018 Financial Records Schmidt, Brad Records Provided
08/21/2018 Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
08/21/2018 MKA Contracts Carey, Erin Records Provided
08/21/2018 RFPs, scoresheet Wilson, Hayley Records Provided
08/21/2018 RFP Johnson, Sue Records Provided
08/21/2018 Video Tobin, Michael Records Provided
08/20/2018 Contracts Freitas, Robert Records Provided
08/20/2018 Game Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
08/20/2018 Subpoenas Tobin, Michael Records Provided
08/17/2018 Nike Elite Schmidt, Brad Records Provided
08/17/2018 Expense Reports Beard, Aaron Records Provided
08/17/2018 Directory Information Villaflor, Wes Request Withdrawn

Update 3: Pres Schill gets $188K raise, donates $100K for need-based scholarships

I can’t imagine why Around the O hasn’t communicated anything about this board meeting. So I’ll update this post as the meetings progress. See below the break for the details.

Update 1: New financial overview info below.

Update 2: Board engages in its traditional 60 minute bashing of the state for underfunding us. This seems unlikely to be productive. See below for some live blogging:

The Trustees love the idea that UO can’t count on the state for funding. President Schill argues that it almost seems they want to hurt us. My question is why is UO so bad at gaming this system? Why do we keep antagonizing the Beaver alumni in the legislature with things like blowing our money on a Duck Baseball program? Why do we make things like state money for the IAAF championships a top lobbying priority?

Maybe their goal is to make sure that UO has to rely on private philanthropy?

Update 3, Friday AM: President Schill announces he will donate his expected $100K annual bonus to the UO, for scholarships for first-generation students, in honor of his mother who helped him get through college as a first-generation student. Good man. Good son!

Board of Trustees Meeting Agendas | September 5-7, 2018
All meetings Room 136, Naito Building, UO Portland. Livecast links will be posted here.

Continue reading

President to revisit professor’s free-speech discipline case

No, of course I’m not talking about President Schill’s decision to discipline Law Profressor Nancy Shurtz. Johnson Hall doesn’t make mistakes.

I’m talking about Rutgers President Robert Barchi and a professor who tweeted something stupid and offensive about New York City real estate, near as I can figure. InsidehigherEd has the report here. People complained. An extensive and expensive investigation of the twit apparently recommended some discipline. It also provoked the sorts of criticism that President Schill got for his handling of the Shurtz matter, such as this from Erwin Chemerinsky, now Dean of the law school at Berkeley:

… I, of course, am not arguing that free speech on campus is absolute. Campuses can punish speech that is incitement to illegal activity or that threatens or directly harasses others. Campuses also can engage in more speech, which long has been recognized as the best response to the speech we don’t like. There can be efforts to educate the community about the history of blackface. There should be debates about whether it is ever appropriate to use blackface even when advocating against racism in higher education.

But what campuses never can or should do is punish speech because it is offensive.

I would have hoped a law school faculty and a university president who is a lawyer and law professor would have recognized this. Unfortunately, what happened at the University of Oregon is all too typical of what is happening on campuses across the country where the desire to create inclusive learning environments for all students has led to punishing speech protected by the First Amendment.

Barchi now seems to want to end things, and pulls out the boilerplate every university president should keep in their template folder:

“Like many in our community, I found that Professor ________’s comments showed especially poor judgment, were offensive, and, despite the professor’s claims of satire, were not at all funny,” he wrote. “At the same time, few values are as important to the university as the protection of First Amendment rights — even when the speech we are protecting in insensitive and reckless.”

Which should end things right there – but instead he’s going to appoint another committee.

Attorney General sends special agents to investigate university foundation’s athletic expenditures

That would be New Mexico’s Attorney General. The Albuquerque Journal has the report here:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state Attorney General’s Office dispatched special agents to the University of New Mexico Foundation headquarters Wednesday as part of a longstanding investigation initiated after revelations UNM used public funds for an overseas golf trip fundraiser.

Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office acknowledged the agents’ presence at the foundation’s office building but would not say what exactly they were doing or if they had visited the office before Wednesday, referring only to the larger, ongoing probe.

So far as I know Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is not investigating the University of Oregon Foundation’s athletic expenditures or CEO Paul Weinhold’s promises to make good any losses on the IAAF championships:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.33.15 PM

 

Where does Oregon blow the money it’s sucked from education?

$700M Maybe $50m [see comments] on the Cover Oregon website, $200M on green energy tax credits, and now $5M on a sawmill scam, as the Oregonian’s Gordon Friedman reports today. Perhaps his reporting will help trigger a criminal investigation. Or perhaps the Oregon DOJ will keep looking the other way:

… [Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum], who heads the Oregon Department of Justice, has declined to investigate the Ecotrust deal, spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson said in March. Edmunson said last week that the attorney general is “aware of” Business Oregon’s findings, and that the Oregon Department of Justice has “received new information” about Ecotrust since March. Citing agency policy, Edmunson declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. …

Communications budget to pay for public records access

Obviously this story is not from the University of Oregon, where GC Kevin Reed’s policy is to charge reporters – even student reporters – for documents. Even documents he won’t release after the students have paid, and where VP for Communications Kyle Henley spends his communications budget on propaganda to boost the reputation of UO’s administrators, not provide facts to the public.

No, this is the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, and as the Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein reports, it took a court case:

Grant County has agreed to pay The Oregonian/OregonLive $28,000 in legal fees that the news organization spent to obtain public records about Sheriff Glenn Palmer’s handling of his office.

The money likely will come out of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office communications budget, said Scott Myers, who leads the county commission. …

Trustees to give Phil Knight an honorary UO degree, then watch football game

Around the O has the news here, with some other stuff about the upcoming UO Board of Trustees meetings which will be held in Portland Sept 6-8. UO faculty aren’t on contract until Sept 15th. Classes don’t start until Sept 24. But hey –  there’s a home football game on the 9th, hence the timing.

I’ll post the traditional user friendly guide to the BOT agenda in a few days.

Big-time college football programs lie about game attendance

Gosh, and I’d alway thought NCAA athletics was the last bastion of honesty and integrity.

The story is from former Oregonian reporter Rachel Bachman, who turned her reporting on various Duck scandals into a WSJ job. Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week has a recap for those who don’t want to go behind the WSJ paywall:

A lot fewer people show up for college football games than colleges would like us to believe,the Wall Street Journal reported today. …

“The average count of tickets scanned at home games—the number of fans who actually show up—is about 71% of the attendance you see in a box score, according to data from the 2017 season,” Bachman writes.

The state’s two top programs, the University of Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State University Beavers, were among those who provided information to the WSJ.

The numbers: Oregon announced attendance of 388,000 for all of its 2017 home games but scanned only 304,450 tickets (that’s 78 percent of announced attendance).

Oregon State fared worse: the university announced attendance of 208,524 but scanned only 139,223 tickets (67 percent).

UO colleges lay off fundraisers as Pres Schill centralizes development

It was a disappointing year for UO fundraising, although you’d never know that from the misinformation Kyle Henley’s PR flacks put out on Around the O:

The University of Oregon posted another successful year of contributions during the fiscal year ending June 30 for a total of $131.03 million.

More than half of this total comes from Oregonians, and the lion’s share — 67 percent — is for academic support. In all, the university received 52,972 gifts, an increase of nearly 7 percent from fiscal 2017. …

For a more fact-based analysis, read RG reporter Saul Hubbard here:

The University of Oregon’s private fundraising slowed in the last fiscal year, following the mammoth $500 million donation pledge from Phil and Penny Knight for a new science campus.

The UO reported receiving $131 million in gifts and other contributions, its lowest total since the 2013-14 fiscal year. It’s only the second time since the state agreed in 2013 to give the UO more independence with its own board of trustees that the university has failed to raise at least $200 million in donations in a year. …

Unfortunately, Saul Hubbard left the RG earlier this month, and GC Kevin Reed’s Public Records Office is using fees and delays to limit access to public records, so now we’ll have to go with rumors.

The rumor is that President Schill is taking control of the fundraisers that have worked for UO’s colleges for years, courting and building relationships with academic donors. Some of these college fundraisers have apparently been laid off, and the others will be moved under the control of Johnson Hall, which will now attempt to direct the generosity of UO’s donors to those causes that our central administration cares about.

Perhaps this centralization is a good idea. Or perhaps not. The only thing for sure is that Johnson Hall doesn’t care what you think, and that Around the O is not going to bother to try and explain it or even tell you that it’s been done.

Ducks to pay Bowling Green players $28K a point for 9/1 body-bag game

Just kidding, this is the NCAA. The Toledo Blade reports that Rob Mullens is paying Bowling Green $900K to give the Ducks a season opener win, and Vegas has the Ducks by 32 points. The $28K per point will come out of UO’s academic budget, one way or another, and it will go to pay the salaries of Bowling Green coaches. The student-athletes will get nothing but concussions, while thanks to Duck AD Rob Mullens’s new Autzen alcohol policies Duck fans will get even drunker. This sporting contest ends ~8PM Saturday, so drive defensively.

 

Unknown vandals deface insipid, racist UO mission statement

8/24/2018 update: Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim has issued a thoughtful statement here. Worth reading it all, here’s a snippet:

… On a personal note, I share this recollection of my days as a new librarian at Wayne State University in Detroit. I was involved in producing a major exhibit on “Lesbian Pulp Fiction” in one of our libraries. The year was 1997, when being lesbian or gay was still viewed as deviant and perverted in mainstream culture (and still is by some in our society). The exhibit included panels that I had borrowed from the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA). After the opening of the exhibit, someone vandalized the works; they painted the word “dyke” over an artifact and damaged a few of the LHA panels.

My point for sharing this story is to illustrate why I am convinced that condoning acts of vandalism like this or censoring or removing works with which we are offended will ultimately and more deeply affect those of us in the minority. This experience and many other incidents I can relate, including demands from individuals to remove what they deem to be offensive books and materials from the library, inform my own reactions to this incident of vandalism now. …

 

8/23/2018: I’m shocked and appalled that these vandals couldn’t find a ladder tall enough to fix the gibberish at the top too. I know the stairs make for a tricky set-up, but this $139.99 Harbor Freight 17 footer adjusts nicely. I’ve put a loaner out by the carport. This post is not in any way meant to express UO Senate endorsement of this sensible act of free-speech.

Thanks to Prof Sanjay Srivastava’s excellent twitter feed for the breaking news and photo.

From an earlier post:

12/7/2017: Students want to remove insipid, racist UO Mission Statement from library wall

The Daily Emerald has the story here:

The change.org petition is here. It focuses on the part about “… conservation and betterment … of our racial heritage…”, which at the time was the language of eugenics, racist immigration policies, and forced sterilization –  the death camps came soon after. Personally, I’m in favor of leaving the thing up as a warning to our students and the future, but only after giving UO’s History and English faculty a crack at it with a ladder and a fat red marker. Here’s my attempt: