VP Kimberly Espy’s key role in UO’s scientific research output

Editor’s note: The research article below was recently received by our editorial office. After careful peer review and several rounds of revisions, I have accepted it for publication, and look forward to a press release about it soon in “Around the O”.

Title: VP Kimberly Espy is the driving force behind UO’s scientific research output

Author: No way I’m telling, she controls their budget and their future.*

*The author would like to thank VPRI Espy for her invaluable role in this study.

Abstract: UO VP for Research and Innovation Kimberly Espy has a key role in almost all of UO’s scientific research output.

Data: We obtained data by searching uo press releases for “espy”. In keeping with NSF data disclosure rules, primary data is below, and a complete data set is available at http://uonews.uoregon.edu/search/node/espy

Methods: We analyzed the most recent 12 months of UO’s press releases about research using standard textual analysis procedures.

Results: 98.6% of UO releases included references to or quotes from VP Espy. In a comparison group randomly drawn from other AAU public research universities, an average of 0.7% of press releases mentioned their VP for Research.

Conclusion: VP Espy has a key role in the vast majority of UO’s research. If President Gottfredson fires her, scientific research at UO, or at least self-promoting press releases funded by money that should have gone to scientific research, would quickly grind to a halt.

2/21/13: See below for RAP report. I’ve got a bunch more documents to post later. Keep them coming, friends.

2/20/2013. Espy was Bean’s pick, and she’s been a disaster. Let’s end it:

Dear Senate President Kyr:

I would like to make a motion for a vote of no confidence in VP for Research Kimberly Espy at the next Senate meeting, to be followed by a vote at the following meeting.

The next scheduled meeting is for March 13, and I’m wondering when the next possible date for a vote would be after that.

Gottfredson can defend her in the Senate if he really believes in her. Chip Kelly did good with that no-huddle offense, time for the faculty to take a clue from the athletic side.

2/21/2013: Bean’s Feb 1 email on Espy, with full report link below. (Note how Bean sat on it for 3 weeks before he even sent it around to the heads. He was off on his Fiesta Bowl junket for part of the time.)

Subject: Research Advisory Panel Final Report

From: Office of the Provost


Attached please find the final report of the Research Advisory Panel (RAP) consisting of Ed Kame’enui (chair), Geri Richmond and Pete von Hippel.  The report deals with recent issues between a subset of faculty and institutes, and office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation.  It goes beyond that to analyze the overall environment for research at UO.  Given our strong desire to expand the AAU metrics, as noted in Goal 1 of the Academic Plan, improving this environment it critical to the future of the University.  They present several recommendations for moving forward.  Some of the recommendations have already been accomplished, some we are starting to implement immediately, and some will lead to healthy discussion.  All will serve our process of improvement.

As a follow-up to this report, Vice President Espy has been meeting with individual faculty to discuss some of the issues presented to me last fall in a meeting at the new Lokey Labs.  We are scheduling a town hall meeting to discuss the research environment at UO, report on progress from the RAP Report, and discuss other ideas for significantly enhancing research at UO.  More details on that event will follow.

I want to thank the Research Advisory Panel for an exceptional piece of work.  They were chosen for the committee because they held a variety of opinions on the issues at hand.  Through hard work and deliberation they came to understand the actual data surrounding the research enterprise here, and to understand each other’s perspectives.  In doing so, they give us a well-informed and well-balanced perspective to begin our discussion.  We owe them our gratitude.

Regards, Jim


Update: Interim Provost Jim Bean finally resigns. Ray of hope for UO.

2/20/2013: Congratulations to Nathan Tublitz and the Senate: SPQUO. Stupid and futile gesture works!

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that James Bean has requested a return to his faculty position at the Lundquist College of Business at the end of this fiscal year. Jim’s more than four years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon as senior vice president and provost came at a particularly critical time for the institution. His efforts to develop a transparent budget system for the university and to place the campus on a better financial footing have been especially noteworthy. Equally important is his work with faculty and the deans to develop a dynamic academic plan.

There are many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate those with you in the coming months. I am also personally very grateful for his guidance, counsel and leadership during my first months here.

I have asked Jim to continue to lend his expertise to certain critical opportunities facing the university following his return to the faculty. I am very appreciative that Jim has agreed to continue to lend substantial support to issues he has played a major role in during his time as provost.

I will work with campus leadership, faculty and our community colleagues as we initiate a national search for Jim’s permanent successor. In addition, I will seek campus and community input as I consider an interim replacement to assume the role of senior vice president and provost on July 1 while we undertake our search.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.

Best regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

2/14/2013: Nathan Tublitz’s motion for an immediate performance review of Interim UO Provost James C. Bean first came up in the January meeting. The Senate put it off, hoping that President Gottfredson would either convince Bean to step down quietly, or decide that under current rules Bean should be reviewed now anyway. Neither happened, so the motion came back up yesterday. There was a lively discussion. Professor Tublitz made the case for the importance of the job, and hit a few of the highlights of Bean’s various failures. No one disputed the facts.

Pres-Elect Margie Paris and Kassia Dellabough argued for delay until fall, when UO will finally have a formal evaluation policy. I argued to just do it. Senate President Kyr gave President Gottfredson a chance to defend Bean or the proposed delay, he declined. After an amendment on the dates (Gottfredson to start the review now, and report to us at the May meeting) the motion passed on a voice vote, about 25 in favor and 2 opposed.

My take on the Senate’s message to President Gottfredson? We lost confidence in Bean long ago, and the longer you keep him the more we wonder about you. Appoint an interim, and start the search for new provost now, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.

Law school’s CnC prof on NCAA and Penn State

I just came across this link to a blog post about the scandal at Penn State, written last year by the CnC professor that I have just put under so much scrutiny. An excerpt:

To this day, universities justify college football on the grounds that it builds character, but all the evidence I have seen after watching sports for 40 years suggests that the 17th century religious critics were right to be skeptical. Sports teaches players to try hard and be good teammates, but I have seen very little evidence that playing promotes moral virtue, let alone civic virtue.

I used to think that football was out of step with the values that universities promote, but now I think it is largely in step with the specialized, materialistic, fame-seeking, win-at-almost-any-cost mentality that characterizes many students’ ambitions and the mores that characterize our society.

Which makes me think that there might be more substance in those CnC courses than I was aware of. 2/17/2013.

Live blog: Margie Paris as Pres, and Senate agenda for 2/13/2013

Highlights of the Feb Senate meeting:

1) Gottfredson promised to either

a) make Randy Geller write an opinion explaining why he believes FERPA precludes faculty from seeing data that might allow them to identify individual students, or

b) finally give the IAC the data on academic performance of student athletes that they’ve been asking for since late May

2) The Senate voted 25 to 2 in favor of Nathan Tublitz’s motion to appoint a committee to write Provost Bean a glowing recommendation for a job as President at another university, or community college, somewhere far away. There was some back and forth on the deadlines, but the message to President Gottfredson was loud and clear: Start the search for new provost, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.

3) What’s it all worth?

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

3:00: Guest blogger: Gottfredson, State of the U
– Happy to be here and impressed with student scholars.  they enrich
our campus immeasurably.  (Why do people say ‘immeasurably’ yet imply
that the measure, whatever it is, must be huge?)
– accomplishments
– great things (none of which are due to his influence, of course)
  – examples of ‘great’ things: atlas of yellowstone, peace corps
ranking (what about the AAU ranking?), Schnitzer exhibits,
– staff are awesome
– we’re awesome
– misrepresents the recent economic impact study as indicative of a
super-high return on investment.
– we’re one of the nation’s premier research universities

3:16: UOM: Low turnout of faculty. Peace Corp, economic impact. Donations are mostly for the jocks, but some increase in academic giving. Thanks to staff. What’s happening in Salem is critical. Support for in-state tuition for children of illegal aliens, worked well in CA. Foundations of this are in the Morrell Act. Our job as a public university. Mentions Ted Wheeler’s bond sale for student aid. Gov’s budget: Will he mention how we got screwed on capital funding? Nope. He will try to get funding for Science Library project added. Governance: Likes current legislative proposal, now in Senate. Working with PSU. Senate Business: New ombudsman from the Senate committee on respectful workplace. Reports to his office. Great idea.  Impartial 3rd party to help faculty, students, staff resolve disputes. Admin review and evaluation: Believes strongly in this, 5 year min, with lots of input from faculty and others. Will start in fall. Nothing on Bean.

Data: Supports IAC request, but allowed aggregation. Will work on a process to get data out to everyone’s satisfaction. More delays.

Drugs: Appoints Robin Holmes and a 6 member committee to stall. First I’ve heard of this.

Guns: Committee has been appointed, holding forums to collect public input, but of course the decision has already been made.

Q on Union: Progressing well.

Q on IAC data from Waddell: Data have to be made available, but …

Q from Bonine: No legal problem, so is issue that faculty are not trustworthy.

Follow up from Waddell and Harbaugh: Gottfredson: “I will be happy to ask the General Counsel to provide a statement”. Still not clear if he will release the data called for in the resolution.

Q Phillips: Any evidence our drug problem is worse than other universities, or increasing? No.

Kyr: New meeting for Academic freedom, facilities use, and what to do about the Geller problem:

(Obligatory Randy threat insert:) Then there’s this threat from Randy Geller, sent to Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC Chair Brian McWhorter this summer, threatened retaliation for meddling with his efforts to sneak Rob Mullens’s drug scheme through without faculty or public review:

… Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon

Bonine on Elections: 2 nominations for president for next year: Margie Paris from Law and Chris Phillips from Math. Statements, then a vote. Lots of service from both. Committee recommends Paris.

Phillips: If not elected I’ll go back to my research. Vision is organizational, policies to be decided by Senate not Senate President. One issue is transparency. Another is size of administration. Curious about MOOCs. Main campaign promise: Better spam blocking. Gonna be tough for Paris to beat that!

Q on governance: not into sharing. Will work for Senate.
Q on getting more Senate participation: Yup, not many people here, that’s a problem. No specific ideas, other than agreeing to serve myself.
Kyr: Seems we need more than “Around the O” to get people interested.

Paris: Faculty, was Dean for 2 years, happily back with the faculty. Likes to help the underdogs. Senate has important role, is way to do this. Kyr has done important things, e.g.: Faculty evaluations of administrators – Model for what Senate can do. Also Committee on Committees 10 year review, important momentum. Wants to see good work of past two years continue.

Senate must push back against admin at times, that’s a good thing.
Transparency: vital for university, need clear procedures, faculty also has to be responsible for not overtaxing the system.

Vote: Paris wins, starts work immediately as VP. Question about announcing the numbers: 4 for Phillips, 23 for the pro-spam candidate.

Guns: This decision has been made already, so I’m going to save you the trouble of reading the arguments.

Executive review: moving along nicely.

Bean review: Time to do it. Complement to executive review motion. Passes with two nays.

5:00 Gottfredson, Paris, and many others bail.

Huaxin: Move to adjourn:

2/12/13: Communications and Agenda

Excellent news from Robert Kyr:

I’m thrilled to announce that the Nominating Committee has approved the candidacy of Professor Margaret (“Margie”) Paris for Senate President-elect (VP for 2012-2013 & President for 2013-2014). Professor Paris’ departmental bio can be accessed through this link: http://law.uoregon.edu/faculty/mparis/

As of today, I have not received any other nominations. If you would like to make a nomination, please contact me before February 13th, so that the Nominating Committee can perform its duties and present a slate of candidates to the Senate on this coming Wednesday.

Senate Meeting Agenda – February 13, 2013

Knight Library Room 101, 3:00‐5:00 pm
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the November 7, December 5, & January 16
Senate Meetings

3:05 pm 2. State of the University
2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson
2.1.1 Questions and Comments with Response
2.2 Remarks by Senate President Robert Kyr

3:45 pm 3. New Business I

3.1 Election for Senate President-Elect (Vice President 2012-2013)
3.2 Election of IFS Senator (Third Seat)

4:00 pm 4. Reports I

4.1 “Possible Police Arming”; UO Police Department
4.1.1 Questions and Comments with Response
4.2 Senate Executive Review Committee Report on “Review of Executive Administrators
and “Faculty Input into Hiring Executive Administrators” (US12/13-03 & US12/13-04);
Robert Kyr, Senate President

4:20 pm 5. New Business II

5.1 Motion (Legislation Reconsidered): Performance Review of Provost James C. Bean;
Nathan Tublitz, Professor (Biology)
5.2 Motion (Legislation): Senate Review of Teaching Evaluation Process; Steven Pologe,
University Senator and Professor (School of Music)
5.3 Motion (Resolution): Information Regarding the UO Affiliated Golf Course; Bob
Doppelt, Adjunct Assoc. Professor (PPPM) Presented by Bill Harbaugh (Economics),
UO Senator

4:40 pm 6. Reports II
6.1 IAC Report on Random Drug Testing OAR; Brian McWhorter, Chair,
Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC)
6.2 Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Respectful Workplace; Emilio Hernandez, Chair
6.3 Data and Documents for IAC & Clarifying FERPA; Brian McWhorter, Chair, IAC
6.4 Study Space Prioritization; Harlan Mechling, ASUO Director of Academic Affairs
6.5 ASUO Report; ASUO President
6.6 UA Senate Liaison Committee; Gordon Sayre, Professor (English)

4:55 pm 7. Announcements and Communications from the Floor

7.1 Notice of Motion (Resolution): Marriage Equality; Ben Bowman, ASUO Senator
7.2 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Meaningful Contributions from the Athletics
Department to Presidential Scholarships; Bill Harbaugh (Economics), UO Senator
7.3 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Clarifying the Wording of Graduate Degrees;
John Bonine (Law), UO Senator
7.4 Notice of Motion (Resolution): Senate Support for the Addition of an Ombuds Office
at the UO; Emilio Hernandez (Chair), Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Respectful Workplace
7.5 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Academic Credit for Military Science Courses;
Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)
7.6 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Term Limits for the Office of Senate President; Senate
Executive Committee
7.7 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Timing of Elections for Senate Officers and IFS Senators;
Senate Executive Committee
7.8 Notice of Motion (Legislation):Union Negotiations Regarding Academic Freedom;
Roxann Prazniak, CHC & University Senator
7.9 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Union Negotiations Regarding Shared Governance;
Roxann Prazniak, CHC & University Senator

5:00 pm 8. Adjournment

I’ll try and live-blog the meeting:

Students ace exam on prisoner’s dilemma

From Inside Higher Ed. Unfortunately the professor was teaching CS, not Econ. This appears to be history’s first recorded successful implementation of a strategy discussed in every economics class I’ve ever taken, or taught. Read it all, the students used a combination of social media and intimidation to enforce cooperation: they all got A’s without taking the final. 2/12/2013.

Michael Moffitt in NYT on UO’s new law courses

Main post with comments on the CNC problems is here.

In the NYT today: 

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school.

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students.

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

Sounds great – but go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.

"Around the O" spam costs ~$107,000. Gottfredson’s calendar costs $103.

I sort of like UO’s official “Around the O” blog. Lots of endearing pictures of our UO administrators, and the occasional informative post about campus events. But I hear complaints about the weekly spam they send to everyone, offering coffee cups and iPads for answering trivia questions. So a couple of weeks ago I asked the blogger, Joe Mosley, for an estimate of the costs. Joe was happy to answer. But his boss, AVP for Strategic Communications Phil Weiler, wanted to make life a little harder for me. So he made me file a public records request. Today I got the reply:

Below, please find the information responsive to your request for “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months” and “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”, made on 1/31/2013.
In response to “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months”:
The university does not possess documents detailing the amount of time an employee spends on AroundtheO, however, the department has offered the following information in response to your request:
  • Joe Mosley  – approximately 50 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Matt Cooper  – approximately 30 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Aria Seligmann  –  approximately 25 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
In response to “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”:
  • Stainless steel travel mugs (100) – $735
  • Three $100 Duck Store gift cards ($250 donated by Duck Store, as co-sponsor of scavenger hunt contest) – $50
  • Two iPads as scavenger hunt prizes – $998
Assuming swag will continue at the current rate, this works out to about $7,000 a year plus $100,000 or so for salaries and OPE.Johnson Hall is happy to spend this kind of money on keeping its employees informed about what JH thinks they should be informed about. But try and get some real info – like President Gottfredson’s official calendar – and they will make you pay $103 and wait a month. Or maybe longer. I asked for that on Jan 8, and I am still getting the run around from Dave Hubin. 2/8/2013.

From our Portland Correspondent, BoJack.

Guess who was in on Nike tax bullying We’ll give you a hint: His annual PERS check is $252,327.

And his partner Sharon Rudnick is negotiating for the administration with the union for $400 an hour. And UO won’t give up the invoices showing her total payments. See below for the bargaining live-blog. One of the many drafts of the agreement is here2/7/13.

From: “William F. Gary” <William.F.Gary@harrang.com>
Subject: NIKE: Project Impact: Revised Agreement
Date: December 18, 2012 5:29:19 PM PST
   Dear Keith,
   As we discussed this afternoon, attached is a revised draft agreement showing the revisions in track changes. I described the substantive changes in our telephone call. We think this agreement is ready for execution. If you would let me know as soon as possible that the draft is acceptable to your client, I will have NIKE sign it in duplicate and deliver the signed originals to the Governor for his signature. I am available at your convenience to discuss any issues you may have with the draft.  

Blog leaks documents, board reviews president

2/7/2013. That’s at Gustavus Adolphus University. The faculty and students are angry over lack of transparency and false promises of shared governance. Here at UO it’s been a month since I paid Dave Hubin $108 to see a printout of President Gottfredson’s official calendar – something many presidents just post on the web. Still nothing. Still nothing on information about who is writing “the university’s” union blog. And now Hubin and Gottfredson want me to pay them $193 for 4 pieces of paper showing how much we have paid Rudnick and the SF anti-union law firm that’s apparently been ghostwriting for Barbara Altmann, over the past 2 months. Help me out here:

$5 to pay UO’s public records fees

Bull Riding at Matt Court, Hockey, Westhead

Some great ODE photos here, by Nate Barrett, Michael Arellano, and Mason Trinca. Also – did anyone know UO has a hockey team? And has anyone been paying attention to how badly Paul Westhead is doing as Women’s BB coach?

Announced attendance for Friday’s loss to Stanford was 1,812. But like most home games this season, the actual attendance appeared to be no more than a few hundred.
Those fans who remain are by definition fiercely loyal, driven to show support for the players and armed with vivid memories of an era under Jody Runge when the Ducks averaged more than 5,000 fans over a three-season stretch from 1998 through 2001.

A little history from old posts:

George Schroeder in the RG had a good column on this: 

… But seriously, keep in mind the last three high-profile openings at Oregon were filled by white guys, and essentially without a search. Bellotti moved up to athletic director. Chip Kelly moved up to head football coach. Paul Westhead was hired as women’s basketball coach as a friend of Pat Kilkenny. Each hire was justifiable. Each guy was qualified, and might have been the best fit. But there wasn’t a traditional search, or much chance provided to any other qualified candidates. 

ESPN had a recent article on Jody Runge, former UO basketball coach, now unable to get a job. The current UO coach is Paul Westhead. His contract – an order of magnitude or so more lucrative than hers, and signed by Frohmayer and Kilkenny, is here.