UO cuts Bach Festival Exec Director Janelle McCoy out of leadership role

10/17/2017: But of course we’ll keep paying her and SVPAA Doug Blandy, and Johnson Hall will avoid having to do any honest soul-searching about why they keep making mistakes like this. I wonder what the next one is going be?

Bob Keefer has the latest in the Eugene Weekly:

A statement released this afternoon by dean of the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance confirms the names of the seven-person committee that is to direct the planning of the 2018 Oregon Bach Festival. Eugene Weekly reported the names based on a source on Oct. 9.

The statement also sets the date for the 2018 festival and confirms that some previously planned events, such as premieres of works by Richard Danielpour and Phillip Glass, will move forward.

Perhaps notably, it doesn’t mention the “guest curator” plan proposed by executive director Janelle McCoy in the immediate aftermath of the still-unexplained Aug. 24 firing of artistic director Matthew Halls. McCoy is not mentioned in today’s statement and has been virtually invisible in recent weeks.

Here is the full text of Dean Brad Foley’s statement:

Dear Friends of Oregon Bach Festival:

Following the grand opening of Berwick Hall earlier this month, all of us at Oregon Bach Festival are looking ahead to next season.

… To that end, I have assembled (and will chair) a highly-qualified artistic committeefrom the staff, faculty, and board to assist with planning for the 2018 Festival:

• Royce Saltzman, Director Emeritus and OBF Board member

• Michael Anderson, OBF Director of Artistic Administration

• Josh Gren, OBF Director of Marketing and Communications

• Steve Vacchi, Professor of Bassoon, OBF Orchestra member, and OBF Board member

• Sharon Paul, Professor of Choral Activities, Director of the UO Chamber Choir (an OBF ensemble)

• Peter Van de Graaff, KWAX Music Director, Program Director of the Beethoven Satellite Network, bass-baritone soloist

Brad Foley
Dean, University of Oregon School of Music & Dance

Quite a change from the lies in the Around the O post of Aug 27:

“We look forward to a wider range of programmatic choices, community events, and cross-departmental relationships with UO faculty, staff, and students – from the UNESCO Crossings Institute, the Department of Equity and Inclusion, and the UO museums, to traditional academic units such as the School of Music and Dance, food studies, classics, humanities, history, and planning, public policy and management. These partnerships,” says McCoy, “might include lectures, public seminars, classes, publications, interactive programming, and so on.”

Meanwhile the UO Public Records Office is still sitting on a number of records requests that might shed more light on Doug Blandy and Janelle McCoy’s roles in this fiasco – one now more than 5 weeks old:

Continue reading

UO Senate Agenda, UOPD Chief announces Tazers and semi-auto rifles

4:25PM It’s taking him quite a while to get around to it, but I think Chief Carmichael will eventually announce that UOPD has already or will soon introduce new weapons to campus: Tazers and semi-automatic rifles.

4:35PM UOPD will introduce Tazers, arguing they are an alternative to police having to shoot people. UOPD will also have body cameras, activated by Tazer activation.

4:37PM UOPD will also introduce “patrol rifles” with high capacity clips and ammo that can penetrate body armor. These will be kept locked in gun safes in the patrol cars.

4:41PM UOPD and Duck Athletics will get a bomb-sniffing dog, and hire a handler.

October 18, 2017 The meeting is 3-5, the faculty club is open 5-7 W, Th & 4-6Fr.
Location:  EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms)
Agenda Minutes |  Watch

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
  • Remarks: Invited Students
  • Remarks: Provost Banavar

3:30 P.M.   Approval of MinutesOctober 4, 2017

3:30 P.M.   Business/Reports

  • Business: HECC; Frances White (Anthropology), Chair of Academic Council
  • Business: Responsible Reporting; Darci Heroy (Title IX Coord.) & Missy Matella (General Counsel’s Office)
  • US17/18-01: Affirmation of the Responsibilities of Faculty Regarding Curriculum; Rob Kyr (Music), President of IFS
  • Business: Academic Freedom, Bill Harbaugh (Economics), Senate VP
  • Report: Update from Chief Carmichael (UOPD Chief) and the UOPD Student Assistants
  • Business: Senate Procedures

4:50 P.M.    Open Discussion
4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:50 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:50 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Law dean who attacked Schill’s response to blackface incident gives nuanced view of best response to disruption of Schill’s State of Univ speech

Back in January, Erwin Chemerinsky, a well known legal scholar and at the time the UC-Irvine law school dean, published this opinion piece castigating UO President Mike Schill’s response to the Halloween blackface incident:

Worries about offensiveness threaten free speech on campuses

All too often campuses are forgetting one of the most basic principle of the First Amendment: Speech cannot be punished simply because it is offensive, even deeply offensive.

The most recent example of this occurred when an investigative report for the University of Oregon concluded that a professor had created a “discriminatory learning environment” by wearing blackface at a Halloween party in her own home. Earlier the professor had been suspended for doing this. No doubt many were offended by her actions, but unquestionably she was engaged in speech protected by the First Amendment and any discipline is unconstitutional.

In October 2016, University of Oregon law professor Nancy Shurtz hosted a Halloween party for about 25 students, faculty members, alumni and family members. Her costume was wearing black makeup on her face and hands, an Afro wig, and a white doctor’s lab coat. She told her guests that she was inspired by the anti-racist message of Damon Tweedy’s memoir about a black man starting his medical career, “Black Man in a White Coat.” She also had recently attended her daughter’s white coat ceremony — a tradition that begins a medical student’s first year — and she noticed an almost complete absence of black men. She said that she meant to draw attention to the lack of diversity in higher education.

Word quickly spread of Professor Shurtz’s costume and by the next day, she was condemned by students, faculty and University of Oregon President Michael Schill in a message expressing outrage to the entire university community. Shurtz was suspended from teaching pending review. Within a few days of the party, 23 law school faculty members wrote a letter urging Professor Shurtz to resign. It concluded: “If you care about our students, you will resign. If you care about our ability to educate future lawyers, you will resign. If you care about our alumni, you will resign.”

University of Oregon commissioned an investigation which concluded: “We find that Nancy Shurtz’s costume, including what constitutes ‘blackface’ through use of black makeup, constitutes a violation of the University’s policies against discrimination. We further find that the actions constitute Discriminatory Harassment.”

The report found that her costume exacerbated racial tensions on campus in a way that had a disproportionate impact on students of color, because “minority students [felt] they have become burdened with educating other students about racial issues and racial sensitivity,” and because some students used “other offensive racially based terminology during class times in the context of discussing this event and broader racial issues.”

Professor Shurtz exercised poor judgment in choosing her costume and not realizing that some would be very offended by it. But poor judgment and offending people cannot be a basis for a university punishing speech. In countless cases, the courts have been adamant that speech cannot be punished because it is offensive. The Nazi party had the right to march in Skokie, Ill., despite the offense to its largely Jewish population and the many Holocaust survivors who lived there. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have the right to go funerals of those who died in military service and express a vile, anti-gay and anti-lesbian message. The government would have almost limitless power to censor speech if offensiveness is a sufficient ground for punishing expression.

Likewise, it cannot be that a university can punish a professor’s expression on the grounds that it offends students and thereby will make their learning more difficult. That is the primary justification for punishing Professor Shurtz.

If that is enough to justify suspending or removing a professor, it would provide a basis for doing so any time a faculty member participates in activities that make a significant number of students uncomfortable.

Under this rationale, campuses in the 1950s would have been justified in firing professors who were perceived as having communist leanings or in the 1960s could have removed professors who participated in the civil rights movement on the ground that such speech made students uncomfortable and interfered with their learning.

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.

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.

Chemerinsky is now dean of Berkeley’s law school, and today he and Howard Gillman of UC-Irvine have an op-ed in the Chronicle (gated if off campus), about speech that disrupts the speech of others. It uses the student protest of President Schill’s State of the University speech as an example of the sort of disruption that need not be tolerated, but perhaps should be:

Does Disruption Violate Free Speech?

When student protesters prevented President Michael H. Schill of the University of Oregon from delivering his State of the University speech this month, the group explained, “Free speech is the right of individuals and communities to express themselves without repression from the state. The students are not the state nor the repressors. Taking to the stage and using this platform was an act of free speech — not a violation of it.”

… Contrary to the view of these protesters, individuals do not have a right to prevent others from speaking. It has long been recognized in constitutional law that the “heckler’s veto” — defined as the suppression of speech in order to appease disruptive, hostile, or threatening members of the audience — can be as much a threat to rights of free expression as government censorship.

If audience members had a general right to engage in disruptive or threatening behavior by using loud, boisterous, or inciting speech, it would give any determined individual or group veto power over the expression of any idea they opposed. Only the most benign or inoffensive ideas would be expressible. It would empower people to believe, “If we can’t get the government to censor the speech, then we’ll do it ourselves.”

The only protections against the heckler’s veto are to require officials to make every effort to control the disrupters or to deter their efforts by treating the disruption as a punishable breach of the peace. Of course, it is possible that, despite best efforts, safety or public order cannot be maintained without calling an end to a controversial event. But this should be a last resort, only after exhausting all efforts to control those who are creating the threats against the lawful expression of speech.

… Importantly, however, prohibitions against disruptions also have their limits.

For example, protecting a controversial speaker assumes that the speaker has a preferred right to speak in a particular location at a particular time. When that is not the case — for example, in a true, open public forum on campus grounds, where anyone is allowed to be and to talk — no one speaker has any more rights to express a point of view than any other. If a Christian fundamentalist preacher were to use an open public space on a campus to preach against nonheterosexual activity, there is no reason why members of the campus community could not surround the preacher and enter into a boisterous back-and-forth.

… The reason recent campus controversies are different is that, in those cases, the campus has created a process whereby particular people (for example, student sponsors and their invited guests) are given a preferred right to have access to specific campus venues through a reservation process. Once the campus has followed its policies and assigned rooms for particular activities, then those who have secured the reservations have recognized claims to that space at those times.

In such a limited public forum, and in other places on campus where certain activities are assigned and recognized, those who have been given access to the space for certain purposes have the right not to be disrupted in that activity.

… Also, while opponents cannot disrupt a talk by an authorized controversial speaker, it is true that the speaker has no right to a cooperative or supportive audience.

Those who disagree are allowed to express their disagreement in ways that nevertheless allow the speakers to have their say. In the easiest case this includes the right to hold counterprotests or competing events, or distribute critical leaflets to audience members. But it also includes expressing disapproval as a member of the audience, as long as that disapproval does not undermine the rights of the speakers and their sponsors.

There are always judgment calls in cases of disruptive protests. We favor a more accommodating approach when protesters focus on administrators, for practical reasons rather than because of the First Amendment. Campus leaders have many avenues to express their views, and so an occasional tactical decision to shrug off the disruption is understandable.

But accommodation is much less appropriate when some members of the campus are attempting to prevent others from exercising their rights. In such cases, heckler’s veto principles argue in favor of strong campus rebuffs of the claims of the disrupters. Otherwise, vulnerable or controversial opinions will never be expressible on a campus. And that would represent an abandonment of foundational principles of modern American higher education.

Simply put, the right to speak does not include a right to use speech to keep others from speaking.

UO Senate committee aims to improve student course evaluation process

Daily Emerald reporter Hannah Kanik has the story here:

The university faculty senate is working to create less biased and more informative course evaluations through a targeted task force and increased student input.

Last May, the University senate discovered sexist and racist correlations in the results of student course evaluations. Senate president Chris Sinclair appointed a task force to address the issue and conduct further research last June. The findings confirmed that course evaluations bred biased and misleading information regarding both student success rates and instructor performances.

… Sinclair emphasized the importance of student input to these evaluations as well. The senate is planning to include student input for the new evaluations and hopes to engage with their ideas in town hall meetings throughout the next year.

Admin declares student protester guilty, then starts conduct code investigation

10/17/2017 update:

I’m no law professor, but I think this is the reverse of the preferred sequencing.

Page down for the video of UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger last Friday, declaring that “the demonstration actually violated university policy”.  Today the “UO Student Collective” facebook page posts this message from Sandy Weintraub, Director of Student Conduct, calling one of the students into his office to begin the process of an investigation under the student conduct code:

On Oct 15, Senate President Sinclair wrote UO President Schill the following:

Dear President Schill:

I’ve had a number of conversations around campus with both students and faculty regarding the student protest of the State of the University address.

Here are some reflections:

The statement from Tobin Klinger to the Oregonian  that the protest was in violation of the student conduct code is unhelpful and has irritated many faculty. Faculty see Klinger as an un-academic public relations spokesperson who has little credibility with the students or the faculty. However, he is an official spokesperson, and so we assume he was speaking for the administration. As such his statement could be taken as an abrogation of due process. This removes the veil of faculty oversight of student discipline, and there is simmering resentment that this power was taken from faculty by the Board of Trustees. Any unilateral administrative establishment of discipline on an issue that revolves around speech is a hornets nest that is best left un-kicked. We do understand that it may sometimes be necessary to “read the riot act” to students to notify them (or others) that continued assembly will be dealt with under the student conduct code.

My recommendation would be to have Tobin clarify his remarks and to state publicly that the university has no plans to charge any of the students in the protest with any conduct violation. Were actual conduct charges to be brought, I do not think you would have the support of the majority of the faculty nor students, and I think the Senate would react in a manner which you would find unproductive. A couple senators have already threatened a resolution to be introduced next Wednesday; we have a busy agenda that day and I would prefer to stay on task.

As you know, I have invited [the UO student collective] to come to the Senate for a brief 5-minute presentation followed by a 5-minute question and answer period. [The UO student collective] has not responded yet. In conversation with faculty, more individuals agree that this is the correct course of action for the Senate than agree with you that this is rewarding bad behavior. I will not argue that we are not rewarding bad behavior, because I see your point, but I think more people are moved by the argument that these students have fewer avenues to air their grievances than you or I, and that this was a legitimate protest.

I have been reflecting on my formal invitation of this student group to the next Senate meeting. Had I a do-over, I would take the advice of Frances White and merely indicate to this group that the Senate is a public forum on campus and that any group of students should be able to get on the agenda (with instructions on how to do so). This would allow the students an avenue for a public conversation without officially sanctioning it. I am unwilling to rescind my invitation to the student group, but I will hold onto this lesson for future use.

Thanks for considering my recommendations and for helping find a productive way out of this tricky situation,

Chris Sinclair, Assoc. Prof. Math, Senate President University of Oregon

Meanwhile, on the same day as the protest, the administration updated its website on Time, Place and Manner restrictions on free speech. They are calling these guidelines and procedures, not policies, because they agreed last year not to implement them as a policy, after the Senate raised numerous objections.

Until 2014, the UO Faculty had responsibility for the Student Conduct code. The Board of Trustees took that away from us as part of their Delegation of Authority, helped out by the faculty board member Susan Gary (Law) who failed to notify the faculty about the power-grab.

The new student conduct code even allows the administration to modify the  procedures retroactively, and apply them to existing student discipline cases:

All revisions to Student Conduct Code procedures, including but not limited to jurisdictional revisions, shall apply retroactively to pending Student Conduct complaints, filed on or after September 11, 2014

10/12/2017 update: Student Conduct Judge Tobin Klinger finds protest violated conduct code

Just kidding. Tobin Klinger is UO’s chief PR flack, not a Student Conduct Judge. He is not responsible for enforcing the student conduct code, nor has anyone at UO conducted any sort of investigation as to whether or not the student conduct code was violated, or whether any such violation was significant enough to supersede the UO policies on freedom of speech and academic freedom.

So what in the world was Klinger doing, in his official capacity as UO spokesperson, telling an Oregonian reporter 5 minutes after the administration suspended President Schill’s speech, that

“.. the demonstration actually violated university policy…”

Speaking in my private capacity as a blogger, I think the administration can make a plausible case that it did violate the code (and the Freedom of Inquiry and Speech policy). If that case succeeds they can then discipline the students accordingly.

But that case is going to be harder to make given this official statement from Klinger, which the students can argue is prejudicial.

10/9/2017 update: Small, ineffective, and reflects poorly on the student body

The Oregon Daily Emerald editorial board rarely posts editorials. They have written a good one on Friday’s protest:

Continue reading

Today: CAS holds student town hall on “Diversity Action Plans”


I’m not going to live blog this – Bruce Blonigen will post the notes on the CAS diversity web page. There are a few undergrads, about 15 grad students (particularly women from the sciences) and about 5 people from the dean’s office. Andrew Marcus does a good job inviting suggestions, and he is getting many interesting ideas from the students. I stirred the pot a bit by noting that they should think big – the VPEI has millions of dollars for diversity, and it should be possible to reallocate it from her administrators to programs that would actually benefit students, e.g. scholarships for research experiences. For some reason the VPEI is not at this meeting to hear the students’ ideas, nor was she at the previous one with faculty.

Dear Faculty and Department Managers,

The CAS Dean’s Office is hosting the third and final DAP Town Hall next week for students on Oct 17th. Can you please pass on the information below to your class lists/student workers to get the word out? Please let us know if you have any questions or need further information. All students are welcome to attend, including graduate and undergraduate students.

Join a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is hosting a series of town hall meetings this term to discuss the college’s Diversity Action Plans (DAPs). The next meeting will be an opportunity specifically for students to provide input on the DAPs. (There are separate meetings for students, staff and faculty.) Please join us on Tuesday, October 17th, from 3:00-5:00 pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room. Snacks will be provided.

The town halls are an occasion for the CAS deans to discuss the plans with you, so we can respond to your questions and ideas and revise our plans with broad college participation. The more involvement we have in refining our plans, the stronger they will be, and we are eager to hear your ideas for setting diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities in CAS.

The action plans that we created are and will be living documents.  We will continue to provide opportunities in the future for everyone to offer improvements, and faculty, staff, and students are welcome to communicate their thoughts and suggest ideas at any time to CASDean@uoregon.edu.  We ask you to be familiar with the all-CAS Diversity Action Plan draft, which you can access on the CAS diversity page: https://cas.uoregon.edu/diversity/.

We look forward to hearing your ideas on October 17th.


The CAS Dean’s Office

10/10/2017: VPEI Alex-Assensoh skips CAS Diversity Action Plan town hall meeting

CAS is having a town hall meeting from 3-5 today in the library reading room, on the latest draft of the CAS “Diversity Action Plan”. The order to do this came down from President Schill and VPEI Alex-Assensoh in the wake of the Halloween blackface incident. The initial draft of the CAS plan was done without much if any input from the faculty, given the initial timeline. This town hall is part of Dean Andrew Marcus’s effort to clean up this steaming pile of crap.

After complaints from the Senate about the narrow focus on race/ethnicity and gender, the May 2016 version of the VPEI’s “IDEAL” Plan now includes a more inclusive definition:

The term “diversity” can be defined in a number of different ways. The UO looks at it broadly and inclusively, encompassing race, ethnicity, disability, thought, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and economics. The UO seeks to promote further diversity among its faculty, staff, and student body through active recruitment and intentional retention.

For something called “The IDEAL Plan” there sure are a lot of different versions floating around. VPEI Alex-Assensoh never bothered to return to the Senate with the revisions, nor was she at this meeting. Word down at the faculty club is she’s still out looking for another job, after the University of Louisiana turned her down.

The current draft CAS DAP plan is here. It still uses the narrow definition of diversity. There are pages and pages of administrative speak like this:

Marcus starts off by noting that the CAS Diversity statement says:

Tolerance, inclusion, curiosity and openness are essential to advancing human understanding—and thus essential to the intellectual and academic mission of the College of Arts and SciencesWe welcome a diversity of cultures, histories, languages; different types of knowledge; different talents, abilities, training; a range of experiences, affiliations, alliances and perspectives—all are necessary for creativity, invention, collaboration and problem solving. There is no meaningful learning without challenge and difference.

He then introduces the latest interim CoDaC, Director Vickey DeRose, appointed by Alex-Assensoh without consultation with the Senate, to help manage these DAPs. Marcus then notes that much of the plan was mandated by the President and cannot be changed.

The VPEI’s office has never conducted a “diversity climate” survey, despite its enormous budget, years of talk, and planeloads of consultants:

Meanwhile, volunteers from the Business School prepared and distributed a “campus climate” survey to undergraduates, as a first step in a rational way, without support from VPEI.

Their results, from their undergraduates, show that the diversity problem (at least at LCB) goes well beyond the narrow focus on race and gender that we see emphasized in the CAS plan:

These results are similar to those from the SERU survey, which UO participates in. No one in the VPEI’s office had ever heard of it:

Lots of discussion about faculty hiring. UO’s TTF faculty is already broadly representative of the available pool of PhD’s with respect to gender and race:

Someone brings up the natural question: Why not spend more resources on building the pipeline, by recruiting more under-represented undergraduates? And, at UO, the least well represented group is now low-income students.

UO is ranked #328 out of 377  selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

Our economic diversity has been getting worse over time (except perhaps for a small recent blip):

Despite this poor performance and the bad trends, UO’s long debates about diversity have generally ignored economic diversity, and this new DAP seems to be doing the same.


Oregon soccer takes a knee – what will Altman and Wiltshire do?


Shawn Medow has the report in the Emerald here:

“Taking the knee before the game means just to raise awareness for the social injustices and inequalities that are happening in our nation,” defender Jazmin Jackmon said after the Ducks’ 1-0 loss to Washington on Oct. 8. “That’s what my teammates and I knelt for, and we’re really hoping to raise awareness for that and to force people to really have those conversations because I think as a nation, if we learn how to have those tough conversations that’s where we’ll grow, as well as our team.”

It’s impressive how well our students understand and can express this, especially in comparison to people like Coach Dana Altman:

Three years ago two of Dana Altman’s Duck basketball players  tried a Black Lives Matter protest during his national anthem. Altman chewed out his players and wouldn’t let them talk to the press afterwards. They never tried *that* again.

At UO a Duck coach can suspend a player for just about anything, by making up a “team rule” against it. The players have no freedom:

10/5/2017: Marching Band Director Eric Wiltshire orders his students not to take a knee

while in uniform or on the field. That’s the rumor from down at the faculty club tonight.

Presidents and provosts gather in their safe-space to talk free speech

Apparently the organizer of the event, Chicago Provost Daniel Diermeier, thought the administrators wouldn’t come or wouldn’t speak freely if they thought their comments would be public. Insider Higher Ed has the report here:

… Just last week, students shouted down talks at Columbia University and the University of Michigan. Those doing the shouting down were generally students aligned with the political left, but supporters of President Trump also shut down a talk at Whittier College by California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, shouting “America First” and “build that wall” to prevent him from answering questions. And those events followed the interruption of speakers (sometimes preventing events from taking place at all) at the College of William & Mary, Texas Southern University, the University of Oregon and Virginia Tech.

With these events becoming increasingly common, the University of Chicago invited presidents and provosts from a range of institutions to come to campus this weekend for a closed-door discussion of how higher education should respond. The University of Chicago has stated in a series of statements from its leaders and monographs on its history that free expression must be respected on campuses, no matter how controversial the idea being expressed. …

Meanwhile Daily Emerald has an op-ed here, from journalism student Chayne Thomas, arguing for the free speech rights of the students who disrupted President Schill’s State of the University speech:

University of Oregon President Michael Schill was quick to dismiss the protesters of his Oct. 6 State of the University Address on the grounds that “they don’t understand the value of free speech.” While I believe he may be well-meaning in his desire to “teach all of our students and members of the community the value of free speech and tolerance,” Schill fails to acknowledge the defect in his fundamental misunderstanding regarding freedom of speech. Namely, he ignores the fact that speech is tied to access. It is strange that Schill, who has the loudest voice on campus and multiple platforms at his disposal, can claim that his rights and freedoms are being infringed upon, while other’s voices are being silenced.

Marginalized students don’t have a voice on campus, but Schill was able to post a statement on the school website, release a video and directly email all students regarding his speech. He also swung private conversations where $50 million suddenly appeared out of mid-air — conversations that didn’t include student voices. Students don’t typically have access to platforms and forums for speech sanctioned by the university, and this needs to change. …

This is a counter to the Emerald editorial arguing against the protesters:

… Friday’s protest painted the UO student body as unwilling to listen to the viewpoints of others. College students around the country have been criticized recently for shutting down the speeches of controversial right-wing figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro.

What happened Friday was worse. Schill wasn’t there to spew hate-filled rhetoric – he was a university president doing his job.

The organizers, whose gripes include Schill’s “acceptance of fascism and neo-Nazis,” “insurmountable increases to student tuition,” and “ignorantly happy-go-lucky attitude” wrote in their Facebook group for the event that “radical change requires radical action.”

We got the radical action. Still waiting on the radical change.

The organizers failed to suppress anything, as UO released a pre-recorded version of the speech minutes after its cancellation. Instead, the event made headlines for its spectacle and painted the student body as rude, unfocused and angry about … just about everything.

Students who are unhappy with school administration should absolutely protest and make their concerns heard.  The repeated tuition increases are a legitimate gripe, and Schill comes across as tone deaf when he tells students to ask their parents for money or take on more debt. But shouting him off the stage isn’t the way to address those concerns.

The Black Student Task Force has shown that respectful protest can effect change on this campus. Not all of their demands have been met, but they got things done by showing a willingness to work with administration rather than drown it out.

[UOM: After Missouri the administration was terrified by the potential impact of a black student protest that included Black student-athletes. The administration was desperate to work with them.]

For change to happen, there must be dialogue with those in charge of making the changes. Suppressing the speech of others is not how to move forward.

For on the protest and the prejudicial response from UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger see the “free speech” tag.


Former interim UO Provost Frances Bronet gets her dream job at Pratt

https://www.pratt.edu/news/view/pratt-institute-selects-frances-bronet-as-the-colleges-12th-president. Or maybe her dream job is RISD president. I forget. Tip to Pratt readers: Bronet is not a French name, it’s pronounced like it’s spelled with a hard t. Not that she cares. If I remember the history right, when Gottfredson got fired Provost Coltrane got promoted to Interim President, and Bronet got promoted to Interim Provost from Dean of the College of Design, formerly known as AAA. She was OK. Better than Coltrane.

Mandatory Implicit Bias Training starts by noting IBT doesn’t change behavior

The UO administration is now requiring all search committee members to take a two-hour training on implicit bias. I did an abbreviated version at a BOT meeting last year, and I’m at one of the three long versions right now, with about 60 other faculty and administrators. The presenter, Erik Girvan (Law), who gives these talks often, starts this one off by acknowledging that there is lots of empirical evidence showing that these trainings do not affect implicit bias, or actual behavior. So I guess we’re just here to check a box – or for the talk, which is an interesting mix of advocacy and science.

More (from my comment), responding to a comment saying Erik did a good job:

I agree. It’s tough to mix science and advocacy without going off the rails in one direction or another – particularly when you’re being paid to present a particular argument, and the audience has been ordered to attend and pay with their time. (I’ll guess that, including the opportunity cost of attendee time, these trainings cost UO about $75,000.) Erik did a good job despite this.

There was plenty I’d argue about – i.e. the casual use of “bias” when talking about conditional means which are by definition unbiased estimates, the general over-emphasis on the implicit association test, and starting with the shades-of-gray visual illusion, which is too obvious an attempt to manipulate people into agreeing they must be biased about race too. But it did grab people’s attention.

I thought the most powerful part was the behavioral results from the randomized resume and email response surveys, which show pervasive racist behavior in decisions that are clearly related to actual mentoring and employment situations.

My understanding is that people’s racist employment decisions are generally not correlated with their IAT results. That said I think Erik successfully used the IAT as a useful teaching tool, in part because it opens people up to thinking about their own biases, and maybe about their own behavior, in a safe, non-threatening way. I can see why administrators love it, regardless of the validity of the science.

Sanjay Srivastava (Psych) posted my “check a box” comment on his @hardsci twitter, and there are a bunch of comments, including some arguing that mandatory diversity training of this sort actually harms diversity, because of a reactivity effect. Check it out at https://twitter.com/hardsci

And, for the record, I am now officially certified by the University of Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion as being allowed to participate in faculty hiring. Please don’t tell my chair!

Hello William,

You are now enrolled in the following session: “Understanding Implicit Bias”.

Below are the date(s)/time(s) of the session: Oct 12th, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

*** Course Description ***

How can someone’s race, sex, age, and other characteristics influence the way we see and treat them even when we are genuinely trying to be unbiased? What concrete steps can we take to help prevent this from happening? To help answer these questions, this workshop introduces the concept of implicit bias. Through a mix of short presentations, lively activities, and discussions, we will explore some harmful side effects of how our brains naturally perceive, categorize, and draw inferences about the world, including other people. We will also examine when this kind of bias is most likely to occur. And we will talk about what practical steps we can all take to try to reduce or eliminate it as well as what has been shown not to work. This workshop may be of particular interest to those serving on search committees and hiring managers.

*** Session Information ***
Description:  For more information, please contact: Rafael Lopez – lopezr@uoregon.edu

Location:  EMU: 231 & 232, Cedar & Spruce Rooms

Instructor:  Dr. Erik Girvan

Please do not reply to this email as it is automatically generated.

Thank you for using Making Tracks: A Registration and Tracking System for the University of Oregon brought to you by Professional Development.

LA Times wants a copy of any FBI subpoenas of Dana Altman’s Ducks

10/9/2017 update:

In what may be it’s fastest turnaround time since I asked Dave Hubin for a copy of Jim Bean’s sabbatical contract, UO’s Public Records Office says today that “there are no responsive records” to the LA Times request for federal subpoenas or search warrants involving Altman or his coaches. For comparison, here are the last 3 or so months of the public records log.

Still no Tim Gleason rhabdo docs for HBO, no new Bach docs, etc:

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