Faculty union quotes

1/31/2012: Sam Stites of the ODE has a good story with quotes from several pro-union faculty:

“We’re hoping to have the card-check done by the end of the term,” said Deborah Olson, union representative and special education instructor. “We’re actually shooting for a higher number. We want more than 50 percent plus one so we have a real clear statement that this is something that the faculty wants.”

“It would provide clarity and an opportunity for the next generation in how to find excellence in the face of the challenges that face state universities,” University professor Louise Bishop said.

“I believe that most faculty are pretty enthusiastic, and I think that they see a real need so it has a good chance,” said Scott Pratt, union representative and philosophy professor. … He says that a union will allow the faculty to have a larger stake in making decisions, setting budgets and other fiscal and administrative issues that the University faces.

It is not going to be all gravy though. Unions do some ridiculous things.

Professor who leaked emails to admin quits senate

1/30/2012: Courtesy of Insidehighered.com, story here:

A Springfield professor who shared emails from other faculty leaders with the University of Illinois president’s chief of staff has resigned from the campus senate amid a vote of no confidence by her peers.

Tih-Fen Ting, professor in environmental studies on the Springfield campus, resigned as chairwoman of the University of Illinois at Springfield campus senate on Friday. She also resigned from the University Senates Conference, a cross-campus committee of faculty leaders.

The UIS campus senate has no confidence in her leadership and “condemns her unethical and unprofessional conduct both prior to and during the anonymous email investigation,” the resolution stated. Ting’s actions violated shared-governance principles and diminished the standing of the campus senate and the influence of the campus within the University Senates Conference, according to the resolution.

Earlier this month, an investigation revealed that Ting sent dozens of emails to Lisa Troyer, UI President Michael Hogan’s former chief of staff. Those emails, from an anonymous gmail account, contained various communications and forwarded emails from members of the University Senates Conference. Troyer later resigned amid the investigation into anonymous emails sent from a Yahoo account from her computer to the senates conference.

IU president Hogan’s apology is here.

Dr. Pernsteiner speaks – but no Matt Donegan

1/25/2012: It’s taking George a while to find UO community members willing to serve on a committee with him. Wonder why. If you are faculty and haven’t been contacted, you are probably not on the list. Pernsteiner and Ford will be here next month to explain themselves – Matt Donegan is clearly never going to set foot in Eugene again in public.

I wanted to update you on the search process for the University of Oregon president. Although we had hoped to be able to name the search committee by now, we do not yet have commitments from all the people we are contacting. We hope now to be able to finalize the membership late this week or early next. With the advice of Interim President Berdahl and a panel of faculty and students, we have chosen a consulting firm to assist in the search. We selected Diversified Search as the apparently successful proposer. This is the same company that recently assisted in two high level executive searches at the University. We are currently in the midst of the legally required period for other proposers to protest that selection. If no protest is lodged, Diversified can start work later next week.

We continue to expect to have a series of forums and meetings regarding the search process on February 8, including the University Senate meeting at 3:00 that afternoon.

Thank you.

George Pernsteiner
Chancellor, Oregon University System

VP for Academic Affairs candidates

1/24/2012: Wow – they are actually asking for faculty opinions:

We present, for your consideration, Barbara Altmann and Doug Blandy as finalists for the position of Senior Vice Provost.  We will be holding an open forum for each of the candidates during the week of January 30th.  Presentation details, candidate application materials, and a feedback link can be accessed at:  http://provost.uoregon.edu/finalist-for-the-senior-vice-provost-office-of-academic-affairs/.  I encourage your engagement with each candidate at their respective forum.

Lorraine Davis
Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

Expect these to be ignored. Our administration already knows what is best for us.

Union Event at art center Today

1/24/2012: The most common reason workers unionize is bad management. Johnson Hall is a case study of dysfunction, so guess what’s happening? Word is that the union organizers already have more than 1/2 the signatures they need, and they are ending the quiet phase early:

An Invitation from the United Academics Organizing Committee
Join colleagues for the official LAUNCH of our union authorization card drive!
Tuesday, January 24th
Papé Reception Hall, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
12:30-3:30 – Drop by Anytime!
Coffee, tea and light refreshments provided

Organizing Committee members will be sharing the reasons they are involved in building United Academics and answering questions about the official certification process. Please come and share your questions and join the discussion. 

An art museum with light refreshments. The last time I tried to join a union the boss waved his stainless 357 at us, and the oil company brought in the scabs from Texas. They gave a few of the troublemakers promotions, then fired the rest of us. The Cody Wyoming cops sat around the landing zone guarding the choppers til we sobered up and left, for better jobs on the CGG crew down in Pinedale.

Millions for jocks, not a cent for scholars

1/18/2012: That’s the word on the $5 million Jock Box gift from John Jaqua’s widow. Greg Bolt explains the basics, here. Duck press release here. And now Rob Mullens has admitted that he is going to use all the proceeds to cover the small part of the maintenance and utilities that the athletic department must pay. Not a cent will go to help the academic side pay for the $1.83 million cost of running the athlete-only tutoring operations. Where was UO’s VP for Development Mike Andreasenwhile this gift was being negotiated? Not doing his job for the academic side. Where was UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold? Cashing his paycheck. What is the probability that the widowed 91-year-old donor, the generous and rather interesting Robin Jaqua, understood how UO’s athletic department would use her gift? ____%. Meanwhile, the athletic department is continuing to play hardball with the students over football tickets and costs. Because they are that greedy. Emily Schiola has the story in the ODE.

What will the Rose Bowl win cost academics?

1/4/2012: One way to build a better university would be to invest in academics – as Richard Lariviere’s New Partnership proposed. Or there’s Dave Frohnmayer’s trickle down theory – sell out to the jocks and pretend. From the RG editorial a few days ago:

Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer has no doubts about the spillover effects of a successful football season: After the Ducks made their first modern Rose Bowl appearance in 1995, he saw a surge in donor support for both athletic and academic programs at the university. A successful season promotes awareness of the UO, and triggers a natural desire to be associated with a winner.

As it happens, UO Professor Dennis Howard – holder of a Nike Philip H. Knight Chair in Sports Marketing at UO and former Business School Dean – has written a paper on exactly this topic, comparing data on donations to UO sports and to UO academics, for exactly the years Frohnmayer is talking about – 1994 to 2002. Howard’s conclusion is a little different from Frohnmayer’s:

Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.

and

For every $100 of new revenue raised from major donors by the University of Oregon, over 80% is being directed to the athletic department. Even with the large increases in numbers of total donors since 1994, academic giving struggles to remain stable while donations to athletics experience huge growth. In three out of the past five years (1998, 2000, 2001), the total dollars donated to academics by non-alumni has fallen despite annual increases in the number of non-alumni donors. Total dollars donated to academics by alumni fell in only one year (2000), again despite an increase in the total number of donors. This suggests new donors are not making academic gifts, and current donors are shifting dollars from academic giving to donations directed to the athletic program. Additionally, as discussed above, proportional giving by alumni is predominantly directed to the athletic program. If these trends continue, total academic giving will fall for both alumni and non-alumni despite continued increases in the total numbers of both types of donors.

Stefan Verbano of the ODE had a story on Prof Dennis Howard last February:

“It’s called a donation or a contribution … when, in fact, as we have discovered in our research … it’s a transaction,” Howard said. “It has nothing to do with giving back to the University or a philanthropic motive. It is purely and simply a commercial transaction in which the individual in paying for tangible benefits: better seat location, access to the Autzen Club amenities. All of those things are driving those transactions.” 

Or just look at the picture. (Data source here.) And it gets worse: the UO Foundation has just announced a $1.4 million cut in the amount it provides for academic scholarships. Go Ducks!

Dave Williford’s statistical critique of UO economists in the NY Times

12/22/2011: Now it’s in Time too:

Oregon parents, beware: the Ducks are 11-2 this season, and playing in the Jan. 2 Rose Bowl against the University of Wisconsin, the sixth-best party school in the nation according to Playboy (in 2010, the Badgers ranked third). For transcripts, this game might be an F-ing disaster. “Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the researchers  — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell wrote.

12/21/2011: Getting your research talked about in the NY Times is a good thing for professors. Part of our job is to do research that interests people. Great publicity for UO’s academic side. The NYT matters in a way that a 60 second $500,000 athletic department puff piece never will. Only a few UO research papers get featured each year. Here’s the latest, from three UO economists:

In examining the grade-point averages of the Oregon student body and the performance of the Ducks’ football team, the researchers found a relationship between declining grades and success on the field.

“Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the paper’s authors — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell — wrote. They said their work was among the first to take a look at the “nonmonetary costs” of college sports.

Male students were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and celebrating and decrease studying when a team fared well, resulting in lower grade-point averages, according to the study….

Some 24 percent of male students said that the success of Oregon’s football team definitely or probably decreased the amount of time they spent studying for classes, compared with 9 percent for women. Both men and women reported that they were more likely to consume alcohol, skip class or party in the wake of a win compared with a loss.

Relative to females, “we observe a decrease in male academic time investment and an increase in distracting or risky behaviors in response to increased athletic success,” the researchers wrote.

Anyone who has ever been to a university – or just to a football game – knows this is true. But here’s the response from official Duck spokesperson and Executive Assistant Athletics Director Dave Williford, who presumably has spent a fair amount of time tailgating, if not studying, and who therefore really should get it:

David Williford, a University of Oregon spokesman, said about the study: “I would like to try and understand the factors involved to coming to that conclusion. Statistics can prove anything. But that’s my personal opinion and not necessarily the university’s.”

Followed by “Wait, will you please not print that?” Too bad they couldn’t get our NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon to comment too. I’m guessing AD Rob Mullens hid under his desk as soon as he heard what the reporter wanted to ask him about. Williford – the $85K a year spokesperson and the low guy on the totem pole, got stuck taking the call.

We blogged about this earlier, with links to another paper showing links to football upsets and increases in spouse abuse. The OC – back on the job now that the game parties are over – discusses the former. But there’s more:

Rees and Scnepel (2009) on crime, http://jse.sagepub.com/content/10/1/68.short:

Our results suggest that the host community registers sharp increases in assaults, vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct, and arrests for alcohol-related offenses on game
days. Upsets are associated with the largest increases in the number of expected offenses.

and Card and Dahl (2011) on family violence, which finds

Controlling for the pregame point spread and the size of the local viewing audience, we find that upset losses (defeats when the home team was predicted to win by four or more points) lead to a 10% increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives
and girlfriends. … The rise in violence after an upset loss is concentrated in a narrow time window near the end of the game and is larger for more important games.

Of course on the pecuniary side we’ve got Stinson and Howard (2004) http://business.nmsu.edu/%7Emhyman/M454_Articles/%28Collegiate%29%20Stinson_SMQ_2004.pdf showing another effect of big-time sports programs:

Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.

And the official NCAA reports on this http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25/empirical_effects_of_collegiate_athletics_update.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25

Hypothesis #8: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term.

• Our statistical analysis of the updated data suggests no relationship – either positive or negative – between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and incoming SAT scores or the percentage of applicants accepted.
• The academic literature is divided on whether athletic programs affect academic quality. While our results suggest no statistical relationship one way or the other, our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time. In addition, the relationship between athletics and academic quality may manifest itself in ways other than the effect on SAT scores or other directly measurable indicators.
•  We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that changes in operating expenditures on big-time sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term is not proven.

Hypothesis #9: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving.

• Econometric analysis using our updated database shows little or no robust relationship between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and alumni giving (either to the sports program or the university itself).
• The academic literature is again inconclusive on this issue. As with the previous hypothesis, our results suggest little or no statistical relationship – but our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time.
• We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving, is not proven.

On the other side of the argument, of course, there’s Duck spokesperson Dave Williford, and this $500,000 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_csyVJEzMFw&feature=player_embedded

Comments here.

Update: Dave Williford writes a nice apology – though it should come from his boss. But Rob Mullens still won’t meet with the IAC, Jim O’Fallon still won’t explain why the IAC can’t have a voice in who will pay for the NCAA settlement, Randy Geller still won’t stop redacting the Glazier invoices, and Jamie Moffitt still won’t come clean about the Kilkenny baseball loan, etc.

From: “Dave Williford”
Subject: Response from David Williford, Athletics Department, University of Oregon
Date: December 22, 2011 2:56:13 PM PST

I would like to apologize for the insensitivity of my comments to the
New York Times. I wish to assure you that I hold the academic mission of
this University to be of the highest priority and certainly did not
intend to create any perception that resulted in a compromise of the
integrity of that academic mission.

Dave Williford
Asst. AD, Media Services
Athletics Department
University of Oregon@uoregon.edu>

 

As Ducks win, male grades drop. (and when teams lose, more domestic violence.)

12/20/2011: That’s the ESPN headline for this paper from 3 UO economists, using data from UO students: The gist:

Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?∗

Jason M. Lindo Isaac D. Swensen Glen R. Waddell

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Abstract: 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, and only 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.

The main effect:

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 1.25.16 PM

You’ll never guess why:

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 1.27.28 PM

108 news stories last time I looked, and UO is still trying to figure out how to word the press release. (Update: it’s here.) Atlantic magazine summary and discussion here.

ASUO President Eckstein’s take:

The findings didn’t really surprise Oregon student government president Ben Eckstein.
“It’s consistent with the culture on campus and the culture at this university where a stronger emphasis is put on athletic success than on academic success,” Eckstein said. Though a fan himself, he says the university’s financial and building priorities favor sports facilities over academics, and “there’s a lack of focus on connecting our athletic success to our academic mission” which trickles down to students.

UO’s official vacuous non-reply, from acting provost Lorraine Davis:

“Academic success has been and remains the top priority at the University of Oregon,” she said. “I am proud of the academic strengths of the institution. Our athletic programs enhance experiences for our students, faculty, alumni and the greater community.

The story doesn’t mention that Lorraine’s most recent previous job was as acting Athletic Director, and that she still sits on the committee that gives special admits to the football players that don’t meet UO’s academic standards.

12/21/2011: Getting your research talked about in the NY Times is a good thing for professors. Part of our job is to do research that interests people. Great publicity for UO’s academic side. The NYT matters in a way that a 60 second $500,000 athletic department puff piece never will. Only a few UO research papers get featured each year. Here’s the NYTimes’ take on the latest, from three UO economists:

In examining the grade-point averages of the Oregon student body and the performance of the Ducks’ football team, the researchers found a relationship between declining grades and success on the field.

“Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the paper’s authors — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell — wrote. They said their work was among the first to take a look at the “nonmonetary costs” of college sports.

Male students were more likely than females to increase their alcohol consumption and celebrating and decrease studying when a team fared well, resulting in lower grade-point averages, according to the study….

Some 24 percent of male students said that the success of Oregon’s football team definitely or probably decreased the amount of time they spent studying for classes, compared with 9 percent for women. Both men and women reported that they were more likely to consume alcohol, skip class or party in the wake of a win compared with a loss.

Relative to females, “we observe a decrease in male academic time investment and an increase in distracting or risky behaviors in response to increased athletic success,” the researchers wrote.

Anyone who has ever been to a university – or just to a football game – knows this is true. But here’s the response from official Duck spokesperson and Executive Assistant Athletics Director Dave Williford, who presumably has spent a fair amount of time tailgating, if not studying, and who therefore really should get it:

David Williford, a University of Oregon spokesman, said about the study: “I would like to try and understand the factors involved to coming to that conclusion. Statistics can prove anything. But that’s my personal opinion and not necessarily the university’s.”

Followed by “Wait, will you please not print that?” Too bad they couldn’t get our NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon to comment too. I’m guessing AD Rob Mullens hid under his desk as soon as he heard what the reporter wanted to ask him about. Williford – the $85K a year spokesperson and the low guy on the totem pole, got stuck taking the call.

12/22/2011: Now it’s in Time too:

Oregon parents, beware: the Ducks are 11-2 this season, and playing in the Jan. 2 Rose Bowl against the University of Wisconsin, the sixth-best party school in the nation according to Playboy (in 2010, the Badgers ranked third). For transcripts, this game might be an F-ing disaster. “Our results support the concern that big-time sports are a threat to American higher education,” the researchers  — Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell wrote.

The Oregon Commentator – back on the job now that the game parties are over – chimes in too. But there’s more. Two other recent papers have used higher frequency data to tie football *losses* to domestic violence:

College Football Games and Crime,
Daniel I. Rees and Kevin T. Schnepel.
Journal of Sports Economics, 2009
http://jse.sagepub.com/content/10/1/68.short

Abstract: There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that college
football games can lead to aggressive and destructive behavior by
fans. However, to date, no empirical study has attempted to document
the magnitude of this phenomenon. We match daily data on offenses from
the National Incident-Based Reporting System to 26 Division I-A
college football programs to estimate the relationship between college
football games and crime. Our results suggest that the host community
registers sharp increases in assaults, vandalism, arrests for
disorderly conduct, and arrests for alcohol-related offenses on game
days. Upsets are associated with the largest increases in the number
of expected offenses.

and

http://qje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/21/qje.qjr001

FAMILY VIOLENCE AND FOOTBALL:
THE EFFECT OF UNEXPECTED EMOTIONAL CUES
ON VIOLENT BEHAVIOR

DAVID CARD AND GORDON B. DAHL

We study the link between family violence and the emotional cues associated
with wins and losses by professional football teams. We hypothesize that the risk
of violence is affected by the “gain-loss” utility of game outcomes around a ratio-
nally expected reference point. Our empirical analysis uses police reports of violent
incidents on Sundays during the professional football season. Controlling for the
pregame point spread and the size of the local viewing audience, we find that upset
losses (defeats when the home team was predicted to win by four or more points)
lead to a 10% increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives
and girlfriends. In contrast, losses when the game was expected to be close have
small and insignificant effects. Upset wins (victories when the home team was
predicted to lose) also have little impact on violence, consistent with asymmetry
in the gain-loss utility function. The rise in violence after an upset loss is concen-
trated in a narrow time window near the end of the game and is larger for more
important games. We find no evidence for reference point updating based on the
halftime score.JELCodes: D030, J120.

Of course on the pecuniary side we’ve got Stinson and Howard (2004)http://business.nmsu.edu/%7Emhyman/M454_Articles/%28Collegiate%29%20Stinson_SMQ_2004.pdf showing another effect of big-time sports programs:

Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.

And the official NCAA reports on related issues are at http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25/empirical_effects_of_collegiate_athletics_update.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=97483e804e0dabfa9f32ff1ad6fc8b25

Hypothesis #8: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term.

• Our statistical analysis of the updated data suggests no relationship – either positive or negative – between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and incoming SAT scores or the percentage of applicants accepted.
• The academic literature is divided on whether athletic programs affect academic quality. While our results suggest no statistical relationship one way or the other, our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time. In addition, the relationship between athletics and academic quality may manifest itself in ways other than the effect on SAT scores or other directly measurable indicators.
•  We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that changes in operating expenditures on big-time sports affect measurable academic quality in the medium term is not proven.

Hypothesis #9: Increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving.

• Econometric analysis using our updated database shows little or no robust relationship between changes in operating expenditures on football or basketball among Division I-A schools and alumni giving (either to the sports program or the university itself).
• The academic literature is again inconclusive on this issue. As with the previous hypothesis, our results suggest little or no statistical relationship – but our data are limited to ten years and such a relationship may exist over longer periods of time.
• We continue to conclude that the hypothesis that increased operating expenditures on sports affect other measurable indicators, including alumni giving, is not proven.

On the other side of the argument, of course, there’s Duck spokesperson Dave Williford, and this $500,000 video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_csyVJEzMFw&feature=player_embedded

Update: Dave Williford writes a nice apology – though it should come from his boss. But Rob Mullens still won’t meet with the IAC, Jim O’Fallon still won’t explain why the IAC can’t have a voice in who will pay for the NCAA settlement, Randy Geller still won’t stop redacting the Glazier invoices, and Jamie Moffitt still won’t come clean about the Kilkenny baseball loan, etc.

From: “Dave Williford”
Subject: Response from David Williford, Athletics Department, University of Oregon
Date: December 22, 2011 2:56:13 PM PST

I would like to apologize for the insensitivity of my comments to the
New York Times. I wish to assure you that I hold the academic mission of
this University to be of the highest priority and certainly did not
intend to create any perception that resulted in a compromise of the
integrity of that academic mission.

Dave Williford
Asst. AD, Media Services
Athletics Department
University of Oregon@uoregon.edu>