FINAL: Senate motion to support Collective students passes 23-21

Update with text as passed by the UO Senate:

After a full, frank, and extended discussion led by Senate President Sinclair (Math) – with UO President Schill, Provost Banavar, and many UO Collective students  present – the Senate voted 23-21 today to pass a revised version of US17/18-02: RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE UO STUDENT COLLECTIVE. This resolution was regarding disciplinary charges for Student Conduct Code violations brought by the administration against students who had protested at, and disrupted, President Schill’s October 6th State of the University Address.

This resolution had been presented to the Senate and posted on its website for review two weeks ago. Yesterday afternoon President Schill and Provost Banavar sent a letter to the Senate responding to it. The UO Student collective took this response to heart, in part, and redrafted their motion last night and this morning, taking out some of the parts the President and Provost found objectionable and making general edits and explanation. The Senate received that revision shortly before the meeting today.

The revised resolution was considered under a suspension of the normal rules, given the fact that time was of the essence, since the Student Conduct Office had given the students charged with disciplinary violations a firm deadline of December 8th to decide on how to respond to the charges, the students had exams, and that the next Senate meeting was not until January.

After voting to suspend the rules with the required 2/3 majority, a motion was then made to divide the resolution, separating the parts on the student conduct process from the parts asking the administration to condemn speech by white supremacists. This passed with considerable support.

The Senate then spent about 30 minutes discussing the student conduct part of the resolution. The resolution was read out in its entirety twice – once before division, and once after.

Some Senators urged the Senate to delay, arguing that this was too little time to consider. Others argued that the students had been given a deadline and the Senate needed to act today.

Provost Banavar asked the students if they would be satisfied if the administration would extend the Dec 8th deadline. The students asked if the Provost could promise such an extension. He said he could not.

Senate VP Harbaugh (me) relayed that he had just been told by the Dean of Students that the Student Conduct Office had failed to make recordings or verbatim transcripts of the student conduct hearings held so far (and had prevented the students from making recordings), despite that fact that verbatim transcripts were required for appeals of conduct violations. Whoops.

The Senate extended the time for debate several times. One OA Senator said that the OA’s would feel that passing the resolution would be taken as an attack on the OA’s who have the difficult job of enforcing student conduct code violations. This was received with respect.

One Senator, from the law school, argued for delay and more deliberation, until next quarter. This same Senator had been on the UO Board of Trustees as its sole faculty member when they passed their 2014 motion taking authority for Student Conduct away from the faculty. At the time she raised no objection with the board that the Trustees were given that motion only shortly before their meeting, and she did not even bother to inform the faculty or the students that the motion was coming. The Greeks had a word for this: hypocrisy.

One Senator raised the point that the motion could be taken as supporting students rights to disrupt classrooms. This did not get a lot of resonance with the faculty, who are quite experienced at turning student disruptions into teachable moments. Many of us even enjoy it. Here’s hoping VP Kyle Henley and the administration’s PR machine do not decide to give Duck spokesman Tobin Klinger instructions to go to the press with that canard.

At 4:56 the vote was called, and the motion passed 23-21. Here’s the final text as passed, absent footnotes. It should all be on the Senate website Th AM:

US17/18-02: RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE UO STUDENT COLLECTIVE

Section I

1.1  WHEREAS the Mission Statement of the University of Oregon states:

“We value our diversity and seek to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community”; and

1.2  WHEREAS the UO Policy on Free Inquiry and Speech states

Free speech is central to the academic mission and is the central tenet of a free and democratic society.” [Emphasis added];

and

“The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.”; and

1.3 WHEREAS UO students have approached the UO administration with their concerns about UO policies and US policies that affect their well-being, safety, and academic success; and

1.4 WHEREAS the preamble of the Student Conduct Code reads:

“The primary mission of the Student Conduct Code is to set forth the community standards and procedures necessary to maintain and protect an environment conducive to learning and in keeping with the educational objectives of the University of Oregon. Founded upon the principle of freedom of thought and expression, an environment conducive to learning is one that preserves the freedom to learn — where academic standards are strictly upheld and where the rights, safety, dignity and worth of every individual are respected.” [Emphasis added]; and

1.5 WHEREAS overzealous disciplinary action against students may result in the repression of dissent and free speech and continues to harm these students’ academic success; and

1.6 WHEREAS UO officials have made public statements that may prejudice the adjudication of the alleged conduct code violations; and

1.7 WHEREAS the UO Policy on Academic Freedom says

“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.”

and

“These freedoms derive immediately from the university’s basic commitment to advancing knowledge and understanding. The academic freedoms enumerated in this policy shall be exercised without fear of institutional reprisal. Only serious abuses of this policy – ones that rise to the level of professional misbehavior or professional incompetence – should lead to adverse consequences.  Any such determinations shall be made in accordance with established, formal procedures involving judgment by relevant peers.”

and yet despite this requirement, relevant peers have not been involved in this conduct code judgement process.

Section II

2.1 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the UO Senate supports the rights of students to peacefully protest during university events, even disruptively, so long as those protests do not prevent speakers from being heard and the audience from hearing what they have to say; and

2.2  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate recognizes that the students involved in the protest at the State of the University Address succeeded in bringing significant matters of academic concern and student well-being to the attention of the university community, and that we urge that this be taken into consideration when judging their discipline cases; and

2.3 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate calls on the the Student Conduct Code and Community Standards Committee to ensure that the Student Conduct Code is revised to include student peers in judgements on disciplinary cases involving free speech, as required by the Policy on Academic Freedom. Given the importance of free speech and academic freedom, the Senate urges the Committee to develop Student Conduct Code procedures distinct from standard discipline charges; and

2.4 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the UO Senate urges the administration to cease the Student Conduct disciplinary charges process and pledges to support student protesters during the disciplinary appeals process; and

2.5 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate supports the conversations the administration has now initiated with the UO Student Collective and that the Senate will continue to provide a forum for all students.

Finis.

Having spent more than the expected time on the discussion and debate of this resolution, the Senate then adjourned, putting off the remainder of the agenda until January.

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Pres Schill to throw more money at Duck coach Willie Taggart?

That’s the rumor from Sports Illustrated, here. Presumably the porkalicious deal will have to be approved by the Board of Trustees, although last year Schill gave AD Rob Mullens millions more without going to the board, and managed to keep it secret for  8 months.

At this rate there’s not going to be any money left over to reduce the subsidies the Ducks get from regular UO students’ tuition, much less pay the student-athletes. Oh, right, this is the NCAA. Never mind.

Meanwhile, we’re still stuck paying Matt Helrich $3M+ a year. Or was it Mike? Marty? Whatever. Here are the memories from the February 2015 meeting where the Trustees voted unanimously to commit UO to that. He was fired less than a year later – but his money pours on:

In February the UO Board of Trustees gave big raises to Duck AD Rob Mullens and football coach Mark Helfrich, after a second place finish in last year’s championship. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms kept the purpose of the meeting secret until the last minute, and even left the contracts off the docket of meeting materials. The board approved them with no discussion after then Interim President Scott Coltrane enthusiastically endorsed the raises:

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The contracts were made public later, and along with many perks and bonuses the Trustees basically doubled Helfrich’s base salary, which had been a mere $1.8M:

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Student Conduct Office drops charges after FIRE free-speech investigation

11/28/2017: Just thought I’d repost this classic.

8/26/14: Four word joke nets UO student five unconstitutional bad-conduct charges:

Saul Hubbard has an excellent report on this in the RG. Peter Bonilla of FIRE notes: “Universities have never prevailed in court when defending their [anti-free speech] codes,” he said. “Every single time there’s a court challenge, they lose.” Of course that won’t stop Sharon Rudnick from collecting $300 in UO tuition money for each billable hour trying, just as she did with Gottfredson’s academic freedom restrictions.

If you’re a UO police officer keeping a list of people who should “eat a bowl of dicks” you get a promotion, high paid legal help from Dave Frohnmayer’s law firm, and UO Chief Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger will write an angry letter to the editor denouncing the reporter for printing the story.

But UO’s rules are a little tougher for students. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has the story:

EUGENE, Oregon, August 26, 2014—The University of Oregon (UO) has filed multiple, blatantly unconstitutional conduct charges against a female student who jokingly yelled “I hit it first” from a dormitory window. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is calling on UO to immediately dismiss all charges against the student and reform its unconstitutional speech policies.

…On June 9, 2014, the female student in question was visiting with friends in UO’s Carson Hall dormitory. The student, looking out of the dormitory window, spotted a male and female student walking together (she did not know either of them) and shouted “I hit it first” at them in jest. The female of the couple responded with two profanities and the couple reported the student’s comment to the Resident Assistant of the dorm. The Resident Assistant located the student and insisted that she apologize to the couple for her remark.

The student readily obliged. That did not end the matter, however. On June 13, the student was shocked to receive a “Notice of Allegation” letter charging her with five separate conduct violations for her four-word joke. In addition to dubious allegations of violating the residence hall’s noise and guest policies, UO charged the student with “[h]arassment,” “disruption,” and “[d]isorderly conduct.” After being presented with these outrageous and unconstitutional charges, the student contacted FIRE. …

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 9.56.16 AMScreen Shot 2014-08-26 at 9.56.41 AM

Actually, thanks to Richard Lariviere UO has a very clear and strong free speech policy, but Doug Blandy is in charge of it, and as is often the case at UO implementation leaves something to be desired.And this all raises a very important question: Do these OARs trump official UO policies that have been adopted by the Senate and signed by the President?

8/28/2014 update: UO drops “I hit it first” charges but keeps them on student’s permanent record

From FIRE, and an RG story here:

UO did not respond to FIRE’s August 1 letter or to a previous June 5 letter regarding its problematic speech codes. In an August 27 article on the student’s case in The Register-Guard, a UO spokesperson defended the university’s Student Conduct Code as “appropriate” and claimed that it “doesn’t conflict with speech laws,” despite FIRE’s overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Later that day, however, UO informed the student via email that it was removing the charges against her. While still claiming that her “behavior may be a violation” of the UO Student Conduct Code, no record of the incident will be noted in her file and no further action will be taken.A first small step towards sanity from the Coltrane administration, or just another reminder that ridicule in the national press is the only way to make Johnson Hall do the right thing?

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7/23/2015: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wins another one:

ATLANTA, July 23, 2015—Today, more than eight years after his unjust expulsion, student Hayden Barnes’ federal civil rights lawsuit against Georgia’s Valdosta State University (VSU) and former VSU president Ronald Zaccari concluded with the announcement of a $900,000 settlement. 

In the spring of 2007, Barnes was expelled from VSU by Zaccari for a satirical environmentalist collage he posted on his personal Facebook page. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Barnes fought back by filing a civil rights lawsuit in 2008 against the university, Zaccari, other VSU administrators, and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. 

“After eight years, and one of the worst abuses of student rights FIRE has ever seen, Hayden Barnes has finally received justice,” said FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff. “Thanks to Hayden’s courageous stand, would-be censors at public universities nationwide have 900,000 new reasons to respect the free speech and due process rights of their students.”

“I am pleased to have finally reached a resolution. It has been an epic journey,” said Barnes. “However, it was a worthwhile endeavor because I know as a result of this case other students will have their constitutional rights respected. I sincerely appreciate the work of my counsel and of FIRE, both of whom were instrumental in achieving justice.”Barnes’ years-long ordeal began on May 7, 2007, when Zaccari—angry with Barnes’ peaceful protest against the planned construction of two parking garages on campus—expelled him without a hearing. Absurdly, Zaccari tried to justify Barnes’ expulsion by claiming that a cut-and-paste collage Barnes had posted to Facebook was a “threatening document” and that Barnes presented a “clear and present danger” to VSU. …

Meanwhile UO is still on FIRE’s redlight list for free speech. We’ve got a great policy, but as you can see above some administrators are a little confused about what free speech means:

Pres Schill appoints Kevin Marbury as permanent VPSL w/o search

Tough job, he seems to be doing very well at it, but it’s troubling that there was no search. Bad precedent.

Dear University of Oregon community members,

It is my pleasure to announce that I have appointed Kevin Marbury to the permanent position of vice president for student life. Kevin has successfully served in this position in an interim role since October 2016, proving himself to be an innovative and thoughtful leader who cares deeply about the success, health, and welfare of students at the University of Oregon.

As interim vice president, Kevin oversaw significant leadership and programmatic changes in the division that elevated the student experience and addressed critical issues facing students. This includes the successful onboarding of the new dean of students, assistant dean of students for leadership and engagement, director of fraternity and sorority life, director of multicultural and identity-based support services, and assistant dean of students for crisis response and prevention. He has also deftly helped manage the university’s efforts to address issues related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA), fraternity and sorority life, the demands of the Black Student Task Force, and sexual harassment and violence prevention, including the implementation of the new responsible employee reporting policy.

Prior to this assuming his current role, Kevin was the director of physical education and recreation at the UO, a program that under his leadership became a benchmark of excellence for universities across the country. Prior to joining the UO in 2012, he was director of recreation and wellness at Old Dominion University, and he served as vice president for student affairs at Edward Waters College.

During the last year, it became abundantly clear to me that the university and students would be well served by the appointment of Kevin permanently as vice president, rather than undertaking an external search. His performance as interim vice president has been exemplary. In addition, Kevin’s efforts to reorganize the Division of Student Life will take more than a year to fully accomplish, and we will all be better served if he remains in the role to see them through. I came to this decision after seeking input from student leaders, senior administrators, student life leadership, academic leaders, and Kevin’s peers. I also sought out the views of the leadership of the University Senate.

Kevin’s strong background in higher education administration and student life leadership—here at Oregon and in previous posts—provides him the tools and relationships to succeed at this critical time on campus in response to national dynamics affecting students. This allows us to maintain strong and consistent leadership at a time in which we are making great strides, and when we still have much important work ahead to ensure all students thrive and feel welcome, secure, and included on our campus. I am very happy Kevin has agreed to take on this important challenge.
Please join me in congratulating Kevin Marbury on his permanent appointment as vice president for student life, which takes effect immediately. I ask that every member of our campus community work together with Kevin and his leadership team to help ensure we meet the university’s critical mission—educating students and creating opportunity for them to become successful future leaders and contributing members of society.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Intercollegiate Athletics AC to meet at 9AM Tuesday on “Academic Integrity”

11/28/2017 sort of live blog:

Membership, from https://senate.uoregon.edu/entry/?Committees=Intercollegiate%20Athletics%20Advisory%20Committee

Less than half the committee has bothered to show up. Rob Mullens, Lisa Peterson, Roger Thompson, and Dennis Galvan all seem to have better things to do.

Tim Gleason starts off with a rehash of the NCAA eligibility rules. This committee meets 6 times a year, and so far has spent most of each meeting reviewing the rules, instead of looking at data from UO student athletes, etc.

Right off the bat, Pres Schill, who seems to have his homework. catches Gleason – Mike Gottfredson’s pick for “Faculty Athletics Representative” – in a basic mistake about determination of academic misconduct with regard to the UNC case. Gleason starts backtracking.

Stolp, Gleason go on at length about what a great job they and the NCAA are doing. 36 minutes into the meeting and still nothing of substance.

1o minutes to go, they’re still talking about what a great job they do. Sorry, I’ve heard enough.

11/27/2017: In the Johnson Hall conference room. It’s a public meeting.

Lots of potentially troublesome matters to discuss, but if the past is any evidence this will be the usual set of softball questions followed by evasive answers from the administration’s “Faculty Athletics Representative” Tim Gleason, who doesn’t even have the contact information for the NCAA person in charge of taking faculty complaints – and who really, really hopes you’ll talk to him instead of the NCAA, so that he can investigate before deciding whether or not to tell the NCAA. Sure Tim.

On Sep 14, 2017, at 7:46 PM, UO Senate VP <senatevp@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Hi Tim –

I’m writing to you in your role as UO’s NCAA FAR, to ask for your help in reporting a potential violation of the NCAA rules prohibiting differential academic treatment of student-athletes.

Specifically, I am looking for the name, address and phone number of the appropriate NCAA contact with whom to file such a report.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
Economics Prof & Senate VP
University of Oregon
http://senate.uoregon.edu

On ThursdaySep 14, 2017, at 9:57 PM, Tim Gleason <tgleason@uoregon.edu> wrote:

BIll,

It is the UO’s obligation to “to identify and report to the [NCAA] instances in which compliance has not been achieved” (2.8.1. Responsibility of the Institution).

I encourage you to share the information you have with me and with Jody Sykes, the UO Chief Compliance Officer so that the UO can fully investigate the circumstances and self-report any violation. It is our obligation to investigate; however absent more information we are unable to proceed. If there is a violation we will want to act immediately to correct the situation, so the sooner you can provide information the sooner we can move forward to correct any problem.

Of course, you are free to contact the NCAA enforcement staff directly.

All the best,

Tim

Tim Gleason
Professor of Journalism
Faculty Athletics Representative
Director, Ancil Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism

On Sep 14, 2017, at 10:00 PM, UO Senate VP <senatevp@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Thanks Tim, how would I go about contacting the NCAA enforcement staff directly?

Please send me their contact information.

Bill Harbaugh

On ThursdaySep 14, 2017, at 10:16 PM, Tim Gleason <tgleason@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Bill,

The NCAA contact information on the website:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
700 W. Washington Street
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6222
Phone: 317-917-6222
Fax: 317-917-6888

Tim
Tim Gleason

On Sep 14, 2017, at 10:19 PM, UO Senate VP <senatevp@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Thanks Tim and Jody, but as I said I’m asking you for the name and the phone number of the appropriate NCAA person to report a potential UO violation to. Please send me that.

Bill Harbaugh

From: Tim Gleason <tgleason@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: reporting a potential NCAA rules violation
Date: September 15, 2017 at 12:15:19 PM PDT
To: Senate Vice President <senatevp@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Jody Sykes <sykes@uoregon.edu>

Bill,

Anyone from the enforcement staff will be able to assist you. UO does not have a specific contact within the NCAA. As noted in earlier email, the most efficient and best way to address any potential violation would be for you to provide us with any relevant information so that we can investigate and self-report as appropriate.

Tim
Tim Gleason
Professor of Journalism
Faculty Athletics Representative
Director, Ancil Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism

Meanwhile Gleason – a journalism professor –  is refusing to share his public records about various athletic matters with reporters unless they pay him first.

President Schill on impact of tax reform bills

Dear colleagues and friends,

For those of us in higher education, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is about completing research projects, taking and grading exams, and planning for the winter term. This year, however, we should all be concerned with something going on thousands of miles away in Washington, DC—namely, tax reform efforts being considered by Congress. Simply put, many of the legislative proposals could substantially impede the ability of universities such as the University of Oregon to deliver an excellent, affordable education to our students.

Graduate students have the most to lose under this legislation. About 1,500 graduate students at the UO currently receive full or partial tuition remissions plus stipends. This financial support is vital in enabling them to afford years of graduate education without amassing huge debts. In return for this assistance and as part of their training, graduate students help support faculty research and teach undergraduate courses in the humanities, social sciences, STEM fields, and beyond. Tuition waivers or remissions to graduate students are not now taxable; this would change under the tax bill passed by the House of Representatives. Undergraduates would not be spared from unfavorable treatment. The bill also undermines the practice of lifelong learning by doing away with the lifelong learning credit that provides access to a diverse group of students, particularly nontraditional students. The House bill also proposes ending provisions that permit the deductibility of interest on student debt and the exclusion of the value of tuition waivers provided to university employees and/or their family members enrolled at Oregon universities.

The targeting of undergraduate and graduate students in the push for tax reform is the most damaging element of the legislation from the perspective of universities, but there is more. Under the bills being considered by both the House and the Senate, the standard deduction would be increased substantially and the estate tax would be eliminated. On the one hand, increasing the standard deduction—the amount that taxpayers get to deduct from their taxable income before applying their tax rate—sounds like good news. Proponents argue it will simplify and potentially lower taxes for millions and millions of Americans. Detractors dispute those benefits.

The problem is that universities increasingly rely upon charitable gifts from alumni and friends to support their operations. This is especially important at universities such as the UO, where state support accounts for roughly 8 percent of our total university budget. In the United States, the tax system provides an incentive for charitable giving by allowing donors to deduct from their taxable income the value of their gifts. But only people who itemize their deductions qualify for the charitable giving incentive. So, as more and more people choose the standard deduction in lieu of itemization, the incentive for charitable giving will go down, potentially costing universities across the nation billions of dollars a year. In a similar manner, the existence of an estate tax provides an incentive for people to give away money to charities like universities. Eliminating the estate tax would remove or reduce this incentive.

An additional provision in the tax law targeting private universities is a 1.4 percent excise tax on endowments of more than $250,000 per student. This provision will not affect the UO because of its status as a public institution. Nevertheless, the precedent of taxing university endowments is one that should give us all pause. It could easily be extended in the future to public universities and to schools with smaller endowments.

Why is Congress doing this? One explanation is that, in an effort to reduce the maximum corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent while not ballooning the budget deficit, lawmakers are simply digging into all of the crevices of our nation’s metaphorical fiscal sofa looking for as much money as possible. After all, these bills also eliminate the deduction of state and local taxes and reduce the home mortgage interest deduction, two of the most popular tax breaks in the Internal Revenue Code. But, as recent articles in the media suggest, some see elements in the tax reform act as an assault on higher education.

I will leave it for our political scientists to speculate why some members of Congress apparently have chosen to target higher education. Here is what I am doing—and what I suggest that you, as students and members of the faculty and staff, can do. First, the University of Oregon is an active participant in the American Association of Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and both organizations are actively lobbying Congress to restore the exclusions for graduation tuition waivers and employee tuition benefits as well as the deductibility of student loan interest. They are also arguing that the charitable giving deduction be universal—meaning that it be available to everyone in addition to the standard deduction. We support these efforts.

In addition, members of our governmental affairs staff and I have been meeting with our congressional delegation to let them know the impact of the current proposals on the UO and to urge them to vote against or modify them. If that is something that interests you, more information is available at the American Council on Education website, including a portal to take action with Congress. While the House has already voted on its version of tax reform, the debate continues with the Senate taking a different approach.

Regardless of whether we succeed or fail in stopping elements in the tax reform legislation that negatively affect universities, it is clear that all of us—administrators, staff, students, faculty, alumni, and supporters—need to make the case that higher education in the United States should be cherished and nurtured, not targeted for cuts. Members of Congress and our state legislatures need to rededicate themselves to the idea that affordable higher education is more than a political slogan—it is a priority that needs to be supported with tax dollars. As the son of two parents who did not go to college, I experienced the transformational effect of higher education, and we need to make sure that that door is open to everyone who can benefit from passing through it. Expanding the Federal Pell Grant program, defending the security of DACA students, and expanding rather than reducing tuition support is a necessary component of that effort.

We also need to make the case for graduate education. Our graduate students will complete their education at the UO and go off to careers in academia, the professions, and industry. The research they do here and the work they will do in the future will advance knowledge, fuel the economy, and enlighten generations to come. Our nation eats its own seed corn by reducing our support for them by taxing their tuition waivers.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Petulant Dana Altman bitches out his players for ruining Uncle Phil’s birthday party, then won’t let them talk to reporters

This is despite the March 2017 report from UO General Counsel Kevin Reed, saying the Ducks don’t prevent players from talking to the press. Steve Mims has the report in the RG here:

… Altman found a few things that fit into the “you-can’t-do-that” category after Oklahoma defeated the Ducks 90-80 Sunday afternoon to close out the Phil Knight Invitational at Memorial Coliseum.

“We put them on the free-throw line 44 times, I know a couple were late, but still 40 free throws when the game is on the line, you will not have much success,” Altman said.

… “Defensively, we are not in the right position and not ready to play,” Altman said. “Our knees are not bent and we are one step behind, that’s one reason why we are fouling so much.” …

“We are not getting any leadership there on the offensive end, there is way too much dribbling,” Altman said. “The ball has to move but the guards pound it and then the forwards get it and pound it. That’s going to change, I can control that.”

How does he do that? “If the ball movement doesn’t get better, they are not going to play,” the coach said. “I am not going to stand and watch them dribble all game.”

Oregon did not let any players speak to the media after the loss to Oklahoma that took away what likely would have been its best nonconference win.

Altman has a long history of this sort of thing, which would seem to be a violation of the First Amendment, and the claims in the March 2017 report from the General Counsel’s Office prompted by complaints from Daily Emerald reporter Kenny Jacoby, here:

… and then they came for the bassoonists …

Update: More Bach news in the EW from Bob Keefer, who has uncovered a 2016 firing of a Matthew Halls ally by Director Janelle McCoy, here:

… In an Aug. 11, 2016, email to Doug Blandy, then the UO’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, McCoy wrote: “I believe I mentioned that Matthew and I had met before I canceled her contract. He now maintains that I misled him in that discussion and this is a personality difference between me and Linda.” The subject line of the email was “Warning — Matthew may be calling.”

Since the Halls firing in August, McCoy has referred most media questions to Tobin Klinger, the university’s senior spokesman. When EW asked them both for comment on the Ackerman case, Klinger replied, “We wouldn’t be able to comment on personnel matters.” …

Really Klinger? And yet you comment on personnel matters all the time. Not to mention student matters. And reporters. And Senators. You just don’t comment on them competently:

11/21/2017: The British press had a spot of fun mocking Americans’ obsession with political correctness over the Oregon Bach Festival’s decision to fire british conductor Matthew Halls for a joke about grits. Here’s the Spectator from September:

… The conversation involved Mobley complaining that a performance he had recently given in England had a certain ‘antebellum’ feel to it. Halls apparently apologised on behalf of England and added, in a humorous deep South accent: ‘Do you want some grits?’ The stupid woman heard this and later asked Mobley if he felt he had been the victim of a racist slight. The astonished singer replied, of course not, it was harmless joke between friends. I am not sure what level on the official SJW Cretin Scale you would need to be to find such a comment racist. Fairly high up, I think. Anyway, learning of his friend’s peremptory sacking, Mobley was furious, insisting that Halls had been victimised. Mobley was not invited to give his views of the matter to the university, by the way. But Oregon University [sic] still refuses to say why Halls was sacked, on one occasion suggesting that his removal may or may not have been connected to this ludicrous allegation of racism, and on a later occasion (anonymously) saying it was nothing to do with it. …

But it turns out the British are not immune from PC fever. Here’s The Telegraph:

Royal Academy of Music sacks lecturer over student guide that referred to string players as ‘pond life’ and violinists as ‘gypos’

Dr Francesca Carpos was dismissed last week from her post with the prestigious Royal Academy of Music after her note on how to earn a “good reputation” backfired spectacularly.

The note emailed to 800 students last week contained a glossary of terms that included a reference to violinists as “gypos”, a derogatory term for gypsies. It also advised students to “be discreet” and that “what’s on tour stays on tour”.

Dr Carpos, 58, a professional bassoon player, has been left shell-shocked by her sacking and, according to friends, is considering suing the Royal Academy of Music, whose patron is the Queen and whose president is the Duchess of Gloucester and vice president is Sir Elton John, a former pupil.

ASUO and Senate presidents: Pres Schill’s response to protest misguided

Sorry, this is from the weekend, just catching up. ASUO President Amy Schenk’s Op-Ed was posted Saturday, along with a report from Saul Hubbard, “Backlash grows as UO pursues conduct charges for students who disrupted a Schill speech“.

From Schenk:

On Oct. 23, University of Oregon President Michael Schill wrote an op-ed in The New York Times headlined “The misguided student crusade against fascism.” His column was a reproach directed toward the students who protested his state-of-the-university speech.

Schill condemned the protesters for supposedly stealing his right to free speech. He claimed that their actions exclude potential allies and portrayed himself as one of the student body’s strongest supporters, but chose not to respond to the students’ original concerns.

Instead, the essay was a way for Schill to publicly misrepresent the beliefs of the protesters, his own students. The result was a contradictory, repetitious testimony that juxtaposed Schill’s support of “free speech” and his simultaneous disapproval of student protests. …

We urge President Schill to invite these students in and work with them rather than publicly shaming them in a newspaper column filled with half-truths and mischaracterizations. He should take this as a sign that it is time to collaborate with students rather than punishing them with a vague student conduct code. At an institution of higher education, it is vital that student voices are included, not ignored.

My impression is that Pres Schill is indeed now trying to do that. From Hubbard:

The University of Oregon’s administration is facing growing backlash over its decision to pursue student conduct charges against a group of protesters who disrupted a speech by UO President Michael Schill last month.

The peaceful protest — about rising tuition costs and seeking a ban on white nationalist groups on campus, among other grievances — caused Schill to abandon his planned address.

Student and faculty leaders are increasingly speaking out against the disciplinary move, which they characterize as divisive and futile.

The University Senate is considering a symbolic resolution calling for the charges to be dropped, and it has “pretty broad support” among faculty and student members, Senate President Chris Sinclair said Friday. …

UO drops Facebook click charge against student collective member

11/21/2017: 

That’s the decision of the “Associate Director for Investigations, Group Accountability, Student Conduct and Community Standards”. But the administration continues to press charges against other students. The Senate will debate a plea for leniency at its Nov 29th meeting. Reporter Casey Crowley has the story in the Emerald:

… At her Administrative Conference with Katy Larkin, associate director for investigations, group accountability, student conduct and community standards, Loustaunau presented Larkin with evidence that showed that Loustaunau was not at the protest.

This evidence includes: screenshots of a Skype call from the time and date of the protest, screenshots of two texts that suggest she did not come to the UO campus that day until after the protest was over, a letter from her friend who she was on the Skype call with, a letter from her advisor and head of the sociology department who attended the protest and confirmed that Loustaunau was not there, and pictures of herself from the day of the protest, according to Loustaunau. In addition, her friend who she was on the Skype call with her confirmed over the phone that he was on Skype with Loustaunau at the time of the protest.

Larkin used Loustaunau’s indication of “going” on a Facebook event for the protest as well as photos from the protest of a woman she thought was Loustaunau and Loustaunau’s Facebook profile picture to decide to charge her with conduct code violations, according to Loustaunau. …

11/3/2017:  Facebook click led UO to charge grad student with disrupting Schill’s speech

Just when you thought the UO administration’s response to the student protest couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it does. Daily Emerald reporter Casey Crowley has the latest:

A University of Oregon student who was charged with student conduct code violations for participating in a demonstration on Oct. 6 says she was not at the protest.

… “This is what I found particularly problematic, I did put attending on a Facebook event,” said [the UO grad student]. “Like everyone, I get sent a bunch of events. I put ‘attending’ to most of them randomly.”

So it seems that UO is paying staff (UOPD? DoS? VP for Communication?) to monitor the UO Student Collective’s Facebook site, and they used this student’s click mark to decide that she’d disrupted President Schill’s right to speak. Then they sent her a discipline letter. More from Crowley’s report:

In order to identify students to charge with conduct code violations, the conduct office looked at photos, videos and social media activity that was available, [UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger] said.

[The student] said she will contest the charges and go through an administrative conference, where she can present information so that the conduct office has a full understanding of the situation.

Presumably this also explains how Klinger was able to make his prejudicial statement to the Oregonian that  “.. the demonstration actually violated university policy…” just 5 minutes after the protest ended. He knew the students were guilty, because he’d already read it on Facebook. This might raise a few entrapment issues?

I’ve read about thought-crime, and I saw a movie about pre-crime, but leave it to the UO administration to charge a student with the latest: Facebook-crime.

For the curious, here’s the UO Student Collective’s Facebook page. This may cost me my tenure, but I just clicked the “Like” box:

Students are better off with higher tuition & higher quality

Earlier this year the Oregon legislature agreed to increase spending on higher education, so long as universities agree to cut tuition increases. This latest working paper shows that it might have been better for our students – in terms of completion and time to degree – if UO had been free to spend the state money on improving advising and teaching instead:

The Impact of Price Caps and Spending Cuts on U.S. Postsecondary Attainment

David J. DemingChristopher R. Walters

NBER Working Paper No. 23736
Issued in August 2017
NBER Program(s):EDLSPEPR

Increasing the postsecondary attainment rate of college-age youth is an important economic priority in the U.S. and in other developed countries. Yet little is known about whether different forms of public subsidy can increase degree completion. In this paper, we compare the impact of the marginal taxpayer dollar on postsecondary attainment when it is spent on lowering tuition prices versus increasing the quality of the college experience. We do so by estimating the causal impact of changes in tuition and spending on enrollment and degree completion in U.S. public postsecondary institutions between 1990 and 2013. We estimate these impacts using a newly assembled data set of legislative tuition caps and freezes, combined with variation in exposure to state budget shocks that is driven by differences in historical reliance on state appropriations. We find large impacts of spending on enrollment and degree completion. In contrast, we find no impact of price changes. Our estimates suggest that spending increases are more effective per-dollar than price cuts as a means of increasing postsecondary attainment.