GC Kevin Reed’s public records office finally admits they have DeVos deal docs

But what did Reed promise UO would do? It’s now almost 4 weeks six weeks since I asked for this agreement. Eventually they’ll run out of ways to hide it:


Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your public records request for “The document I am looking for is called a “Facilitated Resolution Agreement” and it was signed by General Counsel Kevin Reed on or about August 21.” on 09/21/2018, attached.

The University is the custodian of at least some of the records you have requested. …

You don’t say.

9/21/2018 update: GC Kevin Reed cuts deal with Betsy DeVos & wants $378.49 to show the terms

Continue reading

Can the Dean of CoD order faculty to move from PDX to EUG?

Apparently Dean Lindner thinks he can, and Provost Banavar is backing him up. I’m wondering how we can recruit new faculty if they know that their job can be moved from, say, Eugene to Portland without their consent. This does not seem well thought out.

Fortunately for the sake of UO’s future excellence, our faculty union is using some of your union dues to take this to arbitration.

Provost Banavar explains delay in gender and racial equity raises

September 19, 2018
Dear University of Oregon faculty members,
I am pleased to share with you some important information regarding the fiscal year 2019 salary increases for both represented and non-represented tenure-track faculty (TTF) and career non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) at the University of Oregon.
The fiscal year salary increases will be provided to faculty members who meet the eligibility criteria, which requires an appointment as of December 31, 2018.
Tenure-track faculty members will receive a 1.25 percent across-the-board increase on January 1, 2019. There’s an additional pool of 0.75 percent to address equity that will be distributed after an internal study currently underway is completed. Funds from this equity pool will be distributed as soon as they are available and consistent with the United Academics collective bargaining agreement and the related memorandum of understanding. For more information on the equity study, please refer to the Faculty Salary Equity Study.
If equity funds are distributed after January 1, 2019, all increases provided from that pool will be retroactive to January 1, 2019. If there are funds remaining in the equity pool after equity decisions are made, those funds will be applied as an additional across-the-board increase to TTF.
Under the agreement, career NTTF members will receive a 2.0 percent across-the-board increase on January 1, 2019.
For more information on faculty salary increases, please refer to the Annual Salary Increases webpage.
If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources by email at hrinfo@uoregon.edu or call 541-346-3159.
With warmest regards,
Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

Kavanaugh’s accuser is a psychologist/statistician with an h-index of 42

I’m no slave to metrics, but who are you going to believe? Professor Christine Blasey, who’s most cited work is the very useful sounding Sage book on “Statistical Power Analysis in Research“, with 1343 citations since 2015:

With increased emphasis on helping readers understand the context in which power calculations are done, this Second Edition of How Many Subjects? by Helena Chmura Kraemer and Christine Blasey introduces a simple technique of statistical power analysis that allows researchers to compute approximate sample sizes and power for a wide range of research designs. Because the same technique is used with only slight modifications for different statistical tests, researchers can then easily compare the sample sizes required by different designs and tests to make cost-effective decisions in planning a study. These comparisons demonstrate important principles of design, measurement, and analysis that are rarely discussed in courses or textbooks, making this book a valuable instructional resource as well as a must-have guide for frequent reference.

Or a brown-noser like Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who’s most cited work appears to be this hagiographic book review with 75 citations:



UO Prof Elliot Berkman on “The Self-Defeat of Academia”

Thanks to a helpful reader for the link. A snippet:

These last few years have been tough for higher education. Enrollment is down year after year, state funding increases have stalled even as costs skyrocket, and most people don’t have much confidence overall in American colleges and universities.

The standard explanation within academia for these trends is that the relentless drumbeat of criticism of universities from right-wing media have combined with increasing anti-intellectualism in the US to erode public perceptions of the value of higher education. Attacks from conservative media have increased, focused in particular on the well-established liberal bias in higher ed, so the partisan divide in perceptions of universities is not surprising.

But right-wing attacks on the academy and its denizens are only part of the story. A closer look at the data shows that a sizeable number of liberals are dissatisfied with higher education. Besides, focusing only on partisan media places the responsibility for recent downward trends in enrolment, funding, and public opinion outside of academia. We – professors and administrators in higher education – need to accept our role in these trends. Only by confronting how we contribute to our deteriorating public image can we reverse it.

If the right-wing media attacks on universities amount to a public relations battle, then we are clearly on the losing side. We’re barely even putting up a fight. The reluctance to make the case for our value to society goes back to a very different time, when we could take public support for granted. But things have changed. …

Knight Campus?

A helpful reader notes this opinion piece from PNAS, asking if Knight Campus is a potential example of it:

Opinion: Expansion fever and soft money plague the biomedical research enterprise, Henry R. Bourne

Academic biomedical science has had both a long boom in its funding and a subsequent scary bust. From 1970 to 1999, NIH budgets increased 9% per year (1); from 2000 to 2004, they doubled (23). In 2005 came the unmistakable bust: flat-lined NIH budgets converted the doubling into a paltry 14% increase in inflation-corrected (4) dollars over 16 years (1999–2015; Fig. 1A). But during the bust, two stealthier dangers escaped notice, their quantitative details and significance masked or denied. Universities recklessly overbuilt laboratories to fill with more scientists, just when the bust removed funding increases they needed to do science. As diminished NIH dollars made research riskier, universities required principal investigators (PIs) to earn high proportions of salary from grants, transferring much of the risk to PIs: Universities in the 1970s paid PIs about 75% “hard” salary from their own coffers; those coffers in the 21st century pay PIs much less, forcing them to corral most salary as “soft” grant money.

Equity and Inclusion Office in crisis mode as intellectual diversity falls to new lows

Just kidding, they don’t care about that kind of diversity. The Office of Equity and Inclusion has spent millions encouraging UO to hire faculty who look different but think the same. Apparently they’ve been very effective.

Back in 2006 I matched the list of UO tenure track faculty with the Lane County voter rolls, and was able to find 25 registered Republicans. Daily Emerald reporter Braedon Kwiecien has an analysis out today that suggests UO’s political diversity is, if anything, narrowing:

… Of the 27 faculty members in [Political Science], 14 are registered Democrats, two are registered with the Pacific Green Party, two are unaffiliated, one is independent and one is a registered Republican. Seven couldn’t be identified as being registered to vote in Oregon. At a minimum, over 50 percent of faculty in the department are registered Democrats, and a greater percent register with liberal-leaning parties.

At the law school, political diversity is even more skewed. Of the 44 law faculty, 30 are registered Democrats, meaning at least 68 percent of the law faculty are Democrats. Three are non-affiliated, one is independent, one is a registered Republican and nine couldn’t be accounted for in the registration data. …

Vin Lananna keeps job as UO Associate Athletic Director

He has, however, resigned as TrackTown President, right in the middle of planning for the 2021 IAAF Championships, and a federal investigation. Ken Goe has the scoop here:

Lananna led the successful bid for the 2021 World Outdoor Championships, which are scheduled to be at Hayward Field. The bid is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, although no charges have been made. Lananna has insisted the bid was above board.

No word on whether of not Lananna will continue working for Tracktown’s “Oregon 21” subsidiary, or how this will affect the $10M Travel Oregon grant, which the Oregon DOJ has still not approved. More on Lananna’s complicated business arrangements from Diane Dietz in the RG, in 2015.

CAS wants building inscriptions for Tykeson Hall

Dear CAS faculty and Staff,

As you’re aware if you’ve walked down 13th Street between Chapman and Johnson, Tykeson Hall, the new home for CAS and a building that will offer integrated academic and career advising to UO students, is quickly rising.  We expect Tykeson to open for classes in Winter 2019, and we’re now working on the details of the building: interiors, furniture, finishing details, artwork, etc.

We will soon be choosing quotations to be incorporated into Tykeson’s design and become part of the building’s message to students, faculty, and staff.  We invite you to submit ideas for building inscriptions, and we are seeking passages from a diverse array of cultures, regions, and time periods.  We will have to choose only two or three in the end, and we hope you will help make it a difficult choice by sending us words of wisdom, illumination, guidance, and good sense from your favorite authors.

We’ve been guided thus far in our planning by a stanza of a Robert Frost poem, “Two Tramps in Mud Time” (https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/two-tramps-in-mud-time/), a poem that weighs the need to work with the love of work and concludes that we should choose work that speaks to both the necessity and pleasure of the jobs we do, that is, to both vocation and avocation. Three years ago we took Frost’s stanza for our working motto:

My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.

We welcome your suggestions for quotations that might become inscriptions about education and careers in Tykeson Hall.  Our teaching and advising in Tykeson will emphasize

  1. The importance of advising and mentoring
  2. The interconnection between academics and professional pursuits
  3. The value of a liberal arts education.

To read about the Tykeson vision and see the building plans, please go to the Tykeson Hall website (https://tykeson.uoregon.edu).

Please submit brief quotations with attributions to Jules Jones (julesj@uoregon.edu) by Friday, July 27, 2018.

Thank you for your ideas.

CAS Dean’s Office

Andrew, Bruce, Carol, Hal, Karen, and Philip

Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance

Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China

Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Yingquan Song, Qu Tang, Peng Zhang
NBER Working Paper No. 24821. Issued in July 2018
NBER Program(s):Children, Development Economics, Environment and Energy Economics, Health Economics, Public Economics

We provide the first nation-wide estimates on temperature effects on high-stakes cognitive performance in a developing country using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) in China. The NCEE is one of the most important institutions in China and affects hundreds of millions of families. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in temperature (3.29° C) decreases the total test score by 1.12% (9.62% of a standard deviation) and decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 1.97% (4.38% of a standard deviation). This suggests that temperature plays an important role in high-stakes cognitive performance and has potentially far-reaching impacts for the careers and lifetime earnings of students.


HR Director Nancy Resnick leaves for UCSD, UO will hold open search for replacement

From around the o:

Going forward, I have asked Kaia Rogers, Senior Director of Human Resources Programs, Services and Strategic Initiatives, and Missy Matella, Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations to jointly assume leadership of the Human Resources department. Kaia will be overseeing operations in HR programs and services, as well as HR operations and talent acquisition, while Missy will continue to oversee all employee and labor relations issues and initiatives. Nancy will be actively working with Kaia, Missy and the entire HR team through June to ensure a smooth leadership transition. In the coming months, we will launch a national search for a new Chief Human Resources Officer.

“We have taken great care to engage important stakeholders in the development of the plans,” Klinger says.

Just in case any UO students, faculty, community members, the UO Senate, ASUO, the Eugene City Council, the Mayor, the Campus Planning Committee, or most longtime Eugene track and field fans had any illusions about what JH and the UO Foundation think of their importance.

More in Meerah Powell’s Eugene Weekly story here:

… The demolition of Hayward Field’s East Grandstand was proposed to make room for a new stadium to house the 2021 World Outdoor Track and Field Championships — the same event under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges, according to The New York Times.

There has been no update on the investigation since late January, when the NYT reported that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had been of particular interest to the Department of Justice after awarding the championships to Eugene with no bidding process. …

Chronicle of Higher Ed asks why UO General Counsel Kevin Reed wants faculty emails with reporters

Thought I’d repost this classic from last year. More related info soon.

2/15/2017 update:

Here (gated if off campus). A snippet:

The dust-up at the university began in November when Kenneth Jacoby, a reporter for the Daily Emerald student newspaper, filed two public-records requests for emails exchanged between several coaches and officials associated with the football team. Mr. Jacoby asked for fee waivers for both requests based on his belief that the records were in the public interest.

Nearly three weeks later, he was told it would cost over $700 to fulfill his request. He then got in touch with Mr. Harbaugh and in December filed a complaint over the cost with the Transparency Committee, which was established in 2010 to review university procedures for processing and fulfilling public-records requests.

In an email to the committee on January 22, Mr. Harbaugh told members that they would be hearing Mr. Jacoby’s complaint the following day and discussing a response. The email, which was obtained by The Chronicle, included an attachment with Mr. Jacoby’s complaint letter.

Mr. Harbaugh, a transparency advocate, files significant numbers of public-records requests in most years. In fact, according to the public-records office, he files more requests than any media outlet. The professor operates a blog, UOMatters, aimed at uncovering misdeeds at the university. In a 2015 profile by The Chronicle, Mr. Harbaugh said he hopes to make the university a “better place” through his transparency activities.

Mr. Reed, however, said in an interview that he began to fear that the Transparency Committee was not, itself, being transparent, and that he was concerned about conversations he was being excluded from.

So he filed a formal request for Mr. Harbaugh’s emails regarding the Senate Transparency Committee that evening, including those sent to media outlets. Mr. Reed specifically asked for emails sent to The Register-Guard, The Oregonian, the Oregon Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed. …

In related news, GC Reed’s report on the Duck Athletic Department’s alleged efforts to stifle free speech by threatening to take away Jacoby’s press pass should be out in a week or two.

Note: Just to be clear, I turned over all the emails that were covered by GC Kevin Reed’s request, and I did so at no charge to him. I’m still hoping he’ll take the high road w.r.t. our student-journalists public records request’s, someday. A university that spends millions of dollars on public relations ought to be able to find a few thousand for public records.

2/8/2017: UO Pres Mike Schill’s lawyer wants to read professor’s emails with reporters

UO general counsel Kevin Reed is apparently the first university lawyer in US history – not just UO history – to use the public records laws to get a professor’s emails with reporters and free speech and academic freedom advocacy groups such as FIRE and SPLC.

Full disclosure, I am the professor that Mr. Reed is after. The Register Guard’s Diane Dietz has the story here:

The University of ­Oregon’s top lawyer is using public ­records law to get a professor’s emails to and from reporters and editors of The Register-­Guard, The ­Oregonian, the ­Oregon Daily ­Emerald, The ­Chronicle of Higher ­Education and Inside Higher Ed.

The lawyer, UO General Counsel Kevin Reed, sought any emails exchanged with those publications related to the University Senate’s transparency committee during the past year.

Read it all.

Here are some emails about this, starting with General Counsel Reed’s request:

From: Kevin S Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Transparency Committee meeting, Monday 10AM, 412PLC
Date: January 22, 2017 at 8:52:29 PM PST
To: Senate President <senatepres@uoregon.edu>, Chris D Sinclair <csinclai@uoregon.edu>, Brent D Walth <bwalth@uoregon.edu>, Zane A Karimi <zkarimi@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Julia S Cohalan <jcohalan@uoregon.edu>, Kenny Jacoby <kjacoby@dailyemerald.com>, Greg J Stripp <stripp@uoregon.edu>

I will be at the meeting, but note the following:

I was unaware that Prof. Harbaugh was elected chair by email. I am unaware of any such vote taking place, though I was under the impression I am a member of this committee. This follows what appears to have been my exclusion from communication in recent weeks concerning Mr. Jacoby’s complaint regarding the PRO’s decision to follow its policy and not waive fees in responding to a request from the Emerald for student records. I understood that I was a non-voting member of the STC. It seems clear, though, that I am being left out of communications involving the core of the committee’s work. This scarcely seems consistent with the “transparency” part of the committee’s title. If I am not to be included in the communications of the committee, I decline to participate as a member.

Please consider this a request, under the Oregon Public Records Law, of all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee.

I will excuse myself from any discussion by the committee regarding an expansion of the fee waiver policy, due to my belief that a discussion of the subject involving the Committee chair would involve a potential conflict of interest. Prof. Harbaugh was the most frequent requester of public records in the year just ended, and amongst those most frequently to withdraw his request for records when presented with the estimate of the costs associated with the production of those records. Since any action by the committee to demand a change in the PRO policies on fees and fee waivers, if adopted, would have direct financial impact on Prof. Harbaugh, I believe it would be a conflict of interest for him to participate in such a decision. Given Prof. Harbaugh’s participation in the matter thus far, I will refrain from participating in any discussion on the subject in the meeting unless he recuses himself, in order to avoid any appearance that I condone this conflict.

I have attached the Public Record’s Office’s SOPs, setting forth its approach to fee waivers, for the committee’s information. It is unclear to me why the committee would be asked to “make recommendations” regarding the PRO’s balanced approach to fee waivers without presenting the committee with the actual policies implemented by the PRO. So, here they are.

4. I believe the complaint presented by Mr. Jacoby is moot. In his complaint, Mr. Jacoby makes clear  that he seeks records relating to specific, identifiable students at the university. Since this “targeted” request seeks educational records of students who are identified, or are identifiable
within the context of the records and the request, his request has been denied, and any request for fees is now mooted, a decision communicated to him last week. Any records are educational records of identifiable UO students and cannot be released without their consent. The Emerald is no longer being asked to pay fees for the responsive records, since there are no responsive records that can be produced without violating the federally protected rights to privacy of the students involved.

My response:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Date: Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:17 AM
To: Kevin Reed
Cc: Public Record Requests
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172

Dear General Counsel Reed –

Two clarifying questions for you:

1) Does your request for
all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee
includes any such communications from my non-UO hosted email accounts, or texts on my personal phone?

2) When you say “any members of the media”, are you including my communications with bloggers, and organizations such as SPLC and FIRE?


Bill Harbaugh
Economics Prof & Senate Pres
University of Oregon

Reed’s response:

From: Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172
Date: February 3, 2017 at 3:04:14 PM PST
To: William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Public Record Requests <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Senate President Harbaugh:

In answer to your questions:

1) I seek all communications concerning or mentioning the STC you made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate (Vice President, President or member or Chair of the STC), regardless of which media or device you sued for your communication.
2) No. I do not believe FIRE or SPLC qualify as “media.” If it helps in narrowing the search, please feel free to limit my request to communications with reporters, editors or other personnel associated with the Register Guard, the Oregonian, the Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed.

But, given that you have shared that you correspond with FIRE, I will make the additional request under the Oregon Public Records Law:

Please share any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees, which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.

Kevin S. Reed | Vice President and General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel
219 Johnson Hall | Eugene, OR 97403-1226
(541) 346-3082 | ksreed@uoregon.edu

Oregon refunds $500 fine, DOJ lawyer begs judge to drop engineer’s lawsuit

12/12/2017: From the Oregonian, and also in the WaPo:

Oregon’s Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying unconstitutionally applied state law governing engineering practice to Mats Järlström when he exercised his free speech about traffic lights and described himself as an engineer since he was doing so “in a noncommercial” setting and not soliciting professional business, the state Department of Justice has conceded.

“We have admitted to violating Mr. Järlström’s rights,” said Christina L. Beatty-Walters, senior assistant attorney general, in federal court Monday.

The state’s regulation of Järlström under engineering practice law “was not narrowly tailored to any compelling state interests,” she wrote in court papers.

The state has pledged the board will not pursue the Beaverton man any further when he’s not acting in a commercial or professional manner, and on Monday urged a federal judge to dismiss the case. The state also sent a $500 check to Järlström in August, reimbursing him for the state fine.

Järlström and his lawyers argued that’s not good enough. …

4/30/2017: State fines Oregon man $500 for doing math without a license – is pastry next?

Unlicensed polymath Robert Plamodon has the latest on his Unlicensed Practitioner blog here, regarding the efforts of the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying to fine Mats Jarlstrom $500.

Mr. Jarlstrom’s special crime? He wrote letters about traffic light timing, with math in them, and noted that he had a degree in engineering, which he does. He did not claim to be a licensed Civil Engineer, and yet the OSBEELS quickly got medieval guildish on him. From their website:

Mr. Jarlstrom claimed to be an engineer to OSBEELS, the City of Beaverton, Washington County Sheriff, and other organizations when providing engineering algorithms and calculations to change traffic light timing. The final order was issued against Mr. Jarlstrom assessing a $500 civil penalty for violations of ORS 672.020 and 672.045, engaging in the practice of engineering without proper registration, and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 820- 010-0730, using the title of engineer without identifying the jurisdiction in which he is registered.

From what I can tell the OSBEEL would have no case against Mr. Jarlstrom if he’d expressed his suggestions in prose, or as limericks. It’s the math that got him in trouble. So he’s fighting back with words. From his subsequent First Amendment lawsuit against the State Board:

[Full disclosure: I put myself through college working as an unlicensed oil field surveyor, and to compound things I did so in part as an illegal alien in Chetwynd BC, along the lovely Sukunka River. When the Mounties caught me they gave me a week to leave, and not only did they not fine me, they told me to call them if I had any problems getting the rest of my paycheck from the survey co.]

In other news, the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission is finally taking up the challenge of protecting Oregonians from dangerous, uncertified pastry chefs. The agenda for their May 11th meeting:

VP for Equity delays release of consultant info, wants to charge for docs

7/24/2017 update:

This university needs an effective office of Internal Audit to examine these sorts of bids. It took 5 weeks just to get an estimate from the VP for Equity and Diversity for the public records, and now the PRO refuses to waive their $114.62 fee:


Dear Mr. Harbaugh:
The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “…a copy of all bids submitted in response to: RFQ for Executive Coaching Services Solicitation Number: PCS# 211000-00055-RFQ and emails between Michael Tani-Eshon or Yvette Alex-Assensoh and bidders or potential bidders regarding this RFQ” on 06/19/2017, attached.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $114.62. …

Thank you for contacting us with your request.


Office of Public Records


7/10/2017 update: UO Matters saves UO $25K and an uncountable amount of administrative B.S.

Sometimes a simple question is all it takes. In an effort to find out more about the $25K buzzword consultant VPEI wanted to hire, I made this public records request on June 18th:

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: PR request VPEI Coaching Services
Date: June 18, 2017 at 10:32:41 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: mate@uoregon.edu, Yvette M Alex-Assensoh <yalex@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of all bids submitted in response to:

RFQ for Executive Coaching Services
Solicitation Number: PCS# 211000-00055-RFQ
at https://pcs.uoregon.edu/content/business-opportunities

and emails between Michael Tani-Eshon or Yvette Alex-Assensoh and bidders or potential bidders regarding this RFQ. I’m ccing Mr. Tani-Eshon and VP Alex-Assensoh since they should have easy access to these public records.

I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.


Bill Harbaugh

The public records office has sat on it for 3 weeks now, and hasn’t responded to my follow up, but the good news is that the request has already worked. As of July 6th, “THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CANCELLED”:

5/17/2017: Office of Equity and Inclusion searching for buzzword consultant

Nice to know that, after laying off 100 faculty, UO now has money to burn on a consulting firm to help with “executive trustbuilding”, “change management”, “active learning skills including paraphrasing” (that’s a direct quote) and “harnessing the power of culture to optimize outcomes“. $25K, or enough to pay for 4 Pathways scholarships. And it’s renewable: