UO to cut down 23 trees for Hayward Field Folly – naming contest for phallus opens

The RG has the story here. More in the EW here, explaining that the city forester wants to ensure the replacements are more diverse than the current east-coast elite elm monoculture.

No confirmation yet to rumors that the Faculty Advisory Committee will vote to name the new phallus “Slusher’s Schlong”, now that the Bowerman family has declined UO Foundation Pres Paul Weinhold’s offer to call it “The Bowerman Blunt”.

I urge helpful readers to submit alternative names in the comments. I’ll then host a poll, and the creator of the winning proposal will be awarded some appropriately designed University of Nike© paraphernalia.

NOW: Senate to meet today at 3PM on IHP, teaching evaluations, diff tuition

Update: Teaching evaluation and improvement motion passes. Hannah Kanik has a report in the Emerald here.

Senate website here.

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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair [Today will be Chris’s last Senate meeting as President, as he’ll miss the June 6th meeting for a conference.]

Chris gives an excellent speech.

Institutional Hiring Plan; Jayanth Banavar

Not sure if diff tuition motion is needed. Admin is committed to consultation.

See https://provost.uoregon.edu/ay2018-19-institutional-hiring-plan for info on how many new slots went to law and the business school.

Jayanth thanks Chris for helping him get hired as Provost, and says many kind and true things about his excellent character, his excellent work for shared governance, and his excellent paper on “A Solvable Two Charge Ensemble on a circle.”

3:30 P.M. Approval of Minutes, May 9, 2018

3:35 P.M.   Business

Consent Calendar (Policies)

Vote: US17/18-19: Implementing A System For The Continuous Improvement And Evaluation Of Teaching, Bill Harbaugh, Sierra Dawson

Also see https://provost.uoregon.edu/revising-teaching-evaluations and a news report on the USC and UO plans at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/22/most-institutions-say-they-value-teaching-how-they-assess-it-tells-different-story

After a discussion of the implications of anonymity and bias, the motion passed with many ayes and two nays.

Vote: US17/18-20: Process For The Determination Of Implementation Of Differential Tuition, ASUO President Amy Schenk

When a college implements differential tuition it means that, given the effective overall cap from the HECC, there’s less money for other colleges.

Passes unanimously.

4:30 P.M.   Open Discussion
4:30 P.M.   Reports
4:30 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:30 P.M.   Other Business
4:40 P.M. Executive Session


5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

UO Senate & administration among leaders in national effort to reform evaluation and improvement of teaching

When was the last time UO made in into the national higher ed press for something other than a sports scandal, a b.s. branding campaign, or because their general counsel wanted to look at a faculty member’s emails with reporters?

The UO Senate votes on the reform proposal this Wednesday. InsideHigherEd’s Colleen Flaherty has the story today:


Most institutions say they value teaching. But how they assess it tells a different story. University of Southern California has stopped using student evaluations of teaching in promotion decisions in favor of peer-review model. Oregon seeks to end quantitative evaluations of teaching for holistic model.

Research is reviewed in a rigorous manner, by expert peers. [UOM: Except for $100K a year Academic Analytics, that is.] Yet teaching is often reviewed only or mostly by pedagogical non-experts: students. There’s also mounting evidence of bias in student evaluations of teaching, or SETs — against female and minority instructors in particular. And teacher ratings aren’t necessarily correlated with learning outcomes.

ll that was enough for the University of Southern California to do away with SETs in tenure and promotion decisions this spring. Students will still evaluate their professors, with some adjustments — including a new focus on students’ own engagement in a course. But those ratings will not be used in high-stakes personnel decisions.

The changes took place earlier than the university expected. But study after recent study suggesting that SETs advantage faculty members of certain genders and backgrounds (namely white men) and disadvantage others was enough for Michael Quick, provost, to call it quits, effective immediately.

‘I’m Done’

“He just said, ‘I’m done. I can’t continue to allow a substantial portion of the faculty to be subject to this kind of bias,” said Ginger Clark, assistant vice provost for academic and faculty affairs and director of USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching. “We’d already been in the process of developing a peer-review model of evaluation, but we hadn’t expected to pull the Band-Aid off this fast.” …

Not Just USC

Philip B. Stark, associate dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and a professor of statistics at the University of California at Berkeley who has studied SETs and argued that evaluations are biased against female instructors in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible, called the USC news “terrific.”

“Treating student satisfaction and engagement as what they are — and I do think they matter — rather than pretending that student evaluations can measure teaching effectiveness is a huge step forward,” he said. “I also think that using student feedback to inform teaching but not to assess teaching is important progress.”

Stark pointed out that the University of Oregon also is on the verge of killing traditional SETs and adopting a Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching System based on non-numerical feedback. Under the system, student evaluations would still be part of promotion decisions, but they wouldn’t reduce instructors to numbers. 

Elements of the program already have been piloted. Oregon’s Faculty Senate is due to vote on the program as a whole this week, to be adopted in the fall. The proposed system includes a midterm student experience survey, an anonymous web-based survey to collect non-numerical course feedback to be provided only to the instructor, along with an end-of-term student experience survey. An end-of-term instructor reflection survey also would be used for course improvement and teaching evaluation. Peer review and teaching evaluation frameworks, customizable to academic units, are proposed, too.

“As of Fall 2018, faculty personnel committees, heads, and administrators will stop using numerical ratings from student course evaluations in tenure and promotion reviews, merit reviews, and other personnel matters,” reads the Oregon’s Faculty Senate’s proposal. “If units or committees persist in using these numerical ratings, a statement regarding the problematic nature of those ratings and an explanation for why they are being used despite those problems will be included with the evaluative materials.”

The motion already has administrative support, with Jayanth R. Banavar, provost, soliciting pilot participantson his website, saying, “While student feedback can be an important tool for continual improvement of teaching and learning, there is substantial peer-reviewed evidence that student course evaluations can be biased, particularly against women and faculty of color, and that numerical ratings poorly correlate with teaching effectiveness and learning outcomes.”

More than simply revising problematic evaluation instruments, the page says, Oregon “seeks to develop a holistic new teaching evaluation system that helps the campus community describe, develop, recognize and reward teaching excellence.” The goal is to “increase equity and transparency in teaching evaluation for merit, contract renewal, promotion and tenure while simultaneously providing tools for continual course improvement.” …

Provost to answer questions about whatever, at 11AM Tuesday town hall

Strategic Communication’s infrequently visited Around the O website has the announcement here:

Provost Jayanth Banavar will host a spring term town hall from 11 a.m. to noon in Gerlinger Lounge on May 22.

The event is the latest in a new series of such events, designed to create dialogue around specific issues or broader topics the campus community wishes to discuss with the provost or other academic leaders.

“A quality back-and-forth between leadership and our students, faculty and staff is essential to our pursuit of excellence across all we do,” Banavar said. “There is a lot happening at the UO and it is important to both receive and share information on a regular basis.”

There is no specific topic for the May 22 event; the provost will be available to answer questions about the Institutional Hiring Plan, online education and other topics.

“I view these town halls as a place where campus community members can share what’s on their minds and begin the kinds of conversations that will foster greater understanding and partnership,” Banavar said.

Dean of Students retracts blunt statement about frat member’s death from alcohol

Reporters Michael Tobin and Francisca “Frankie” Benitez in the Emerald here. The paragraph from the original, unsigned statement:

As devastating as this sudden passing is, it is important to point out that this tragedy is connected to an unauthorized tradition among many college students. Students from many institutions have a history of demonstrating poor life choices during visits to Lake Shasta. These activities are contrary to the values of the university and fraternity and sorority organizations.

Around the O has now redacted that paragraph and issued this apology:

Yesterday, the Division of Student Life issued a statement about the passing of one of our students, Dylan Pietrs, who died Saturday at Lake Shasta. The intent was to quickly respond to a tragic situation and provide resources to support the community members affected by Dylan’s passing. That statement should have reflected that our focus was and remains on assisting Dylan’s family and friends as they deal with this news.

We have heard from a number of you and greatly appreciate your perspective that the statement came across as insensitive. As the leader of the Division of Student Life, I offer my apology. While I didn’t know Dylan personally, he was a member of the Duck family and right now we should be focused on responding on the loss of a member of our family.

We have updated our statement and again express our condolences to Dylan’s family and friends. The Division of Student Life remains committed to assisting members of our community in dealing with this tragedy.


R. Kevin Marbury, Vice President, Student Life

The wording in the first statement shows how seriously Marbury took this student’s death, and that he wanted to use this tragedy as a warning to other students, and to the frats. This is certainly needed. An outright ban might be more effective in the long run, but that is about as likely as banning football, which has its own well documented negative effects on our students:


We consider the relationship between collegiate-football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team’s success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades. This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.


This paper considers the degree to which events that intensify partying increase sexual assault. Estimates are based on panel data from campus and local law enforcement agencies and an identification strategy that exploits plausibly random variation in the timing of Division 1 football games. The estimates indicate that these events increase daily reports of rape with 17–24-year-old victims by 28 percent. The effects are driven largely by 17–24-year-old offenders and by offenders unknown to the victim, but we also find significant effects on incidents involving offenders of other ages and on incidents involving offenders known to the victim.

Senate Exec Coordinator Betina Lynn talks about surviving Thurston school shooting

In the RG here:

…She feels “inspired” by the group of students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who have taken a lead role in the national discussion on school shootings and gun violence, and she hopes their efforts may help them deal with the aftereffects of witnessing a mass killing.

“They’re not being silenced, and I think that is going to be helpful to their long-term healing,” Lynn said. …


UO Trustee Connie Ballmer in the NYT, on why she donated $20M to encourage students to go to college

From a David Leonhardt piece here:

“You hear people say, ‘Well, a four-year degree isn’t needed,’ ” Connie Ballmer, the philanthropist and wife of the former Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, recently told me.

“But then if you turn to them and say, ‘What do you want for your child?’ they wouldn’t dream of not having their kid go to a four-year college,” she continued. “They said it’s not needed — but they need it.”

Ballmer is right. The boomlet of skepticism about college comes disproportionately from upper-middle-class people who have the luxury of airing hypothetical concerns about education, without having to worry that their own children will be influenced by them. Yet the misplaced skepticism can do real damage to poor and working-class teenagers who hear it and take it seriously.

The evidence remains overwhelming: College is the single most reliable path to the middle class and beyond. No, it doesn’t guarantee a good life. Nothing does. But earning a good living without a college degree today is difficult.

College graduates earn vastly more and are far more likely to be employed. They live longer, are more likely to be married and are more satisfied on average with their lives. These relationships appear to be at least partly causal, too. If you want more details, you can read some of my previous columns or dig into a long trail of academic studies. …


Department of disagreement. A good example of skepticism about college is an op-ed that ran in The Times this week, called, “College May Not Be Worth It Anymore,” by Ellen Ruppel Shell, a Boston University professor of journalism. I disagree with it, for all the reasons mentioned above. More important, the authors of the research cited in the piece disagree with it.

One of them, Tim Bartik, an economist at the Upjohn Institute, wrote on Twitter: “It draws the wrong conclusions from our work, and omits some important findings.” He wrote a series of tweets with further explanation.

The research by Bartik and his colleague Brad Hershbein finds huge returns on four-year college degrees for all students, including those from lower-income families. For a typical student, a degree is worth about $500,000.

Deans behaving badly on CAS Assoc Dean, CoD Head appointments

Rumor has it that CAS Dean Andrew Marcus will appoint Carol Stabile (WGS) to a newly created position of Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion. From what I can tell there was no open search or apparently any consideration of other candidates, and no position announcement or job description was ever posted.

This is a terrible way to fill a job like this – it’s against shared governance, against the principle of open searches instead of insider deals, and it does a disservice to Stabile, who is returning from a year at UMD and will now start the job under a cloud. A group of faculty has already written Marcus in protest.

Back in the day Affirmative Action and Equality Opportunity insisted on transparency for jobs like this, which would be posted online with the heading “internal candidates only”, so that everyone interested would at least be able to submit an application. When Provost Linda Brady failed to do this, for a search for a VP for Institutional Diversity, Federal Judge Thomas Coffin ordered her to explain. (Doc 32).

Meanwhile, CoD Dean Christoph Lindner has sent the following email around to his faculty:

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to update you and invite your input on the selection of the new Head of the School of Architecture & Environment.

First, I want to thank all of the faculty who wrote nominations for this important leadership role.

At this time, I have had a chance to meet with all nominees. I have also met with the SAE leadership team to hear their views and recommendations, and I have consulted with the College leadership team, comprised of the other School Heads, to get their feedback. Before making a decision on the appointment, I want to invite the faculty in SAE to share their feedback on key characteristics, skills, and expertise the new School Head should have. It is important for me to understand what you value in this position and what you see as high priorities for the School going forward.

Please write to me directly with your feedback before noon on Friday, May 18. I will move forward with an appointment after carefully considering all faculty feedback.

The School of Architecture & Environment is a uniquely talented community. I am excited by the strengths of the individual departments and programs in SAE and remain immensely optimistic about the potential of what we can achieve when we bring those strengths together. I look forward to receiving your advice on the appointment of the new School Head.


Christoph Lindner
Dean and Professor

I don’t see that this job was ever posted either, and rumor has it that the fix is already in, but at least he’s making a pretense of consultation.

Librarians crush Bach Festival in early Ducks Give results

With only 9 minutes in on this 24 hour altruism challenge, your $19M contribution to really old music could make the difference!

Or if you’re not into the books v. music war, you could go here, click the “I want to view additional options” and donate to SAIL, which will spend your money on UO summer camps to encourage low income first generation students to go to college, and give them some money to eat  in Carson with the other students if they do.

I don’t know why this dollar challenge doesn’t include a direct link for SAIL, like Duck athletics gets for donations to subsidize their coaches salaries:

Dana Altman & Kevin Reed’s bête noire Kenny Jacoby wins Scripps Howard fellowship, will spend year reporting from DC

UO Daily Emerald reporter Kenny Jacoby’s work for the Daily Emerald and SI on various Duck sports scandals is documented here.

In 2016, as reported in the Emerald, efforts by the Duck Athletic Department to limit student-athletes’ access to the press in potential violation of UO policies on academic freedom and free speech, led the Senate leadership to call for an investigation:

The University of Oregon Senate issued a request on Sunday to launch an investigation into a possible free speech violation by the UO Athletic Department regarding its threat to limit Emerald press credentials during an investigation of a UO football player. The request called for UO General Counsel Kevin Reed to initiate the investigation. …

More on the Senate’s call and the resulting report from Kevin Reed here.

The Scripps Howard announcement is here. One of the other winners is a Harvard Law grad and Rhodes Scholar, if you’re into that sort of thing:

CINCINNATI – The Scripps Howard Foundation has selected four journalists for the inaugural class of its Scripps Howard Fellowship program.

The Scripps Howard Fellows were selected from more than 540 applicants to complete the yearlong program, which will run from June 2018 through May 2019.

The fellowship is offered in partnership with ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom in New York City, and with the Scripps Washington Bureau and Newsy, Scripps’ next-generation national news network, in the nation’s capital.

“Since our founding, the Scripps Howard Foundation has made it our mission to develop the next generation of leaders in journalism,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “We believe this program will help these journalists continue to develop the skills needed to uncover the stories that shape our communities as well as the qualities needed to lead effectively.”

The 2018-2019 Scripps Howard Fellows:

Aysha Bagchi: A 2017 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, Bagchi’s interest in journalism was sparked by her experiences writing for The Stanford Daily as an undergraduate student. Bagchi will work in the Scripps Washington Bureau and with Newsy.

Barbara Marcolini: An associate video producer at The New York Times, Marcolini is a 2017 graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She received a bachelor’s degree from Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro and holds certificates in data journalism and entrepreneurial journalism. Marcolini will work at ProPublica.

Kenny Jacoby: Currently working as a freelance reporter, Jacoby is an award-winning journalist whose work has been recognized by the nonprofit organization Investigative Reporters and Editors. A 2017 graduate of the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he has written investigative stories for Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, NBC and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jacoby will work in the Scripps Washington Bureau and with Newsy.

Sophie Chou: A data journalist at Public Radio International in Boston, Chou received her master’s degree in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Columbia University. She previously served as a researcher for the Pew Research Center via a fellowship with Google News. Chou will work at ProPublica.

The Fellows will spend the year working side by side with reporters and editorial leaders in those two newsrooms. They also will participate in exclusive off-site sessions focused on building leadership, project management and entrepreneurial skills.

Shaun Harper: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race

Harper has done work on a variety of topics on race and higher education, including athletics. Scholar page here, more on talk here. This talk was organized by the English Dept’s Avinnash Tiwari.

Shaun Harper – UO African American Workshop and Lecture Series

Monday, May 14
Public Lecture: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race
Giustina Ballroom, Ford Alumni Center
4:30 pm

Teach-In: Institutional Considerations on Expression, Rights, and Race in the Classroom, for faculty and students with limited space.
Lease Crutcher Lewis Room, EMU
Monday, May 14, Noon – 1:30pm

On behalf of the ENG Diversity Committee and in collaboration with the Division of Equity and Inclusion, we’d like to invite you to join us for two events on 14 May with Shaun R. Harper.

Dr. Harper is the Provost Professor in the Rossier School of Education and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He also is the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center, and immediate past president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Senate to meet Wed on learning, multicultural, teaching, diff tuition



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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
  • Update from Johnson Hall

3:20 P.M. Approval of Minutes, April 25, 2018

3:35 P.M.   Business

4:50 P.M.   Open Discussion
4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:55 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:55 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

UO Foundation submits permit to demolish Hayward Field

I’m still not sure why the UO Foundation didn’t just hire the kids who burnt down Civic. Maybe former Chief Compliance Office Erika Funk – already mostly erased from their website – raised some objections. In any case the city has apparently already approved accepted the demo permit as ready to review, here:

So it won’t be long before we’ve all got this giant dildo to look at: