Oregon Commentator to NY Times

12/16/2010: Former Oregon Commentator writer Ed Niedermeyer continues to make trouble, but now in the NY Times:

“In particular, what Mr. Obama called his “one goal” — having Detroit “lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars” — is nowhere near being achieved. While the idea of improving G.M.’s and Chrysler’s fuel efficiency was doubtless a politically popular justification for the bailout, American consumers have not embraced the goal with equal fervor. Sales of fuel-sipping compact and subcompact cars have actually dropped this year, while pickup and sport utility vehicle sales grew by double-digit percentages.”

ODE Opinion Editor Tyree Harris in Oregonian

12/8/2010: UO student and ODE Opinion Editor Tyree Harris has an extremely interesting Op-Ed in the Oregonian on black culture and his place in it. (Thanks to Tomchak for the link.)

Being called a sellout because I don’t accept the media-spun perceptions of blackness made me paranoid and uncomfortable. I was afraid to hang out with white people because I didn’t want to look like a sellout, and when I did my white “friends” would make snarky little race jokes to remind me I was different.

On the same note, I didn’t care to hang with a lot of black people because I felt insulted and betrayed by them, and when I did they would make fun of me for trying to be smart or for hanging out with white people.

warning signs of higher ed bubble

The parents are paying $50,000 plus for their kids to sit in a lecture that starts with “telegram” and ends with “kilobyte”. The random abuse from the prof in between is not the real story.

Parents are willing to pay this because other parents are willing to pay it. This will crash someday.

Just for the record, I draw the line at showing up for class in pajamas and then snoring. A sharp rap on the knuckles with my ruler generally wakes them up.

Then there’s this on people in non-college jobs, with college degrees. Interesting, but hardly damning. Doesn’t adjust for age, and there are many reasons to get a degree that have nothing to do with careerism. I do wonder what these people majored in though – has anyone seen data on that?


about voicing your opinion in the polls on the right or in the comments? Don’t be. The NY Times reports, tonight, on a new NLRB case involving an employee who criticized her boss on Facebook:

Lafe Solomon, the board’s acting general counsel, said, “This is a fairly straightforward case under the National Labor Relations Act — whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.”

11/8/2010. I’m no lawyer, and this does not constitute legal advice. Read the Bill of Rights for that.

Randy Geller resume – updates below

11/3/2010: After 2 weeks of delays from UO, and a petition to the Attorney General, we’ve now got a copy of new UO General Counsel Randy Geller’s cover letter and resume, here. His employment contract is here – $200K a year. Nice raise.

There is no mention in his letter or resume of his role in fulfilling and denying UO public records requests, and the resulting DOJ petitions. Public records troubles were at the root of the problems at the GC office, when Geller was Deputy GC. If a professor goes up for a promotion and omits something of material importance from their vitae, well that can be a bit of trouble. I wonder if laws apply to lawyers too?

Also no mention of his former boss, Melinda Grier. No mention of the Attorney General’s investigation of General Counsel Melinda Grier, which led to the GC job suddenly becoming available. Not a word on why all these lawyers are called Generals. But the Attorney General’s investigation of the General Counsel closes with this:

The deficiencies in legal services described above could have been remedied by greater supervision of Grier’s performance by either UO or the Department of Justice. In light of these events, it is obvious that improving quality control with respect to legal services at the UO — and improving communication and coordination between the DOJ and UO — is necessary to ensure these problems are not repeated.

Apparently President Lariviere decided that appointing Melinda Grier’s deputy Randy Geller as General Counsel constitutes “improving quality control with respect to legal services”. And since the DOJ signed off on his appointment, AG Kroger must have agreed. Maybe Mr. Geller is a perfectly fine lawyer, and a great person to promote, and he is now going to clean house. I hope so.

Addressing past problems straightforwardly would be a good first step. These problems came to light in part because of the failures of the other 2 lawyers in the GC’s office with Geller – Melinda Grier and Doug Park – to respond to public records requests from reporters. Now UO will not even allow reporters to interview Randy Geller. And did we already mention that it took a public records petition to the Attorney General to even get his resume?  

11/5/2010: Stefan Verbano of the ODE has now managed to Oregon Commentator Media Digest refuses to back down on theory Geller does not exist, despite Verbano interview. Speaking of non-existent administrators, maybe Verbano can next interview John Moseley, Lorraine Davis, and Charles Martinez?

how not to hide things from the public

11/4/2010:  Randy Geller’s resume is now one of our most frequently downloaded documents, surpassing such favorites as Frohnmayer’s golden parachute contract, the Jock Box parking deals with Frances Dyke, and the accounting sheet showing how the athletic department uses regular students’s tuition to subsidize  the jock box, and our collection of bootleg 70’s Dead mp3s. Attorney General Kroger’s report on AAG David Leith’s investigation of Melinda Grier is still tops, however.

Efforts to delay release of these sorts of documents make our readers more curious about what is in them. And apparently we’ve got some curious readers. So keep delaying those public records Ms Denecke, no worries on our end.

Oregon Commentator media digest

11/3/2010: UO’s media relation office produces E-clips every day. Subscribe and you get a daily email with news stories that mention UO. They do a great job – everything from the latest research to the latest athletic funding scandal. No censorship. OUS has a similar service, but they only forward on the cheery news that makes everyone look good. Which makes OUS look bad. The Oregon Commenator now has it’s own daily “Media Digest” from Alex Tomchak Scott. It’s got it all, plus comments from the student’s point of view. Very worth reading.

Geller and Denecke resumes

10/30/2010: A helpful reader sends what is believed to be a photo of UO’s new General Counsel, Randy Geller. UO will not provide a photo to reporters, or even allow Mr. Geller to be interviewed. More amazingly, nearly 2 weeks since we made the request, UO’s new Public Records Officer Liz Denecke still will not produce a copy of Geller’s resume. Or of her own for that matter. Huh?

The Oregon AG’s 2010 Public Records Manual says: “The public is entitled to inspect non-exempt records as promptly as a public body reasonably can make them available.” The 2008 version of this manual had a great quote on the cover, from Madison:

“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

We just want to see the resumes of the people who applied to be our university’s chief lawyer, and of the attorney ostensibly hired to improve public records access at UO. President Lariviere and his staff seem to have gone into some weird place over this simple request. It’s just bizarre. Farce or Tragedy.

Ironically, the Madison quote is from an 1822 letter addressing President Lariviere’s favorite issue: public funding of higher education – in this case for the new state of Kentucky. The full first paragraph?

The liberal appropriations made by the Legislature of Kentucky for a general system of Education cannot be too much applauded. A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

AutoCAD criminals

10/26/2010: UO is looking for an Events Manager for Matt Court. To report to the Senior Events Manager for Matt Court. Job posting here. There’s some boilerplate about being fiscally responsible – bit late for that, eh? – but this part really caught my eye:

Experience with AutoCAD is preferred. Candidates who promote and enhance diversity are strongly desired. Position is subject to a criminal background check.

AutoCAD, diversity, fiscally responsible, criminal background check. Wait. Are there so many fiscally responsible criminals that know AutoCAD that we need a special screen for them? Never mind, I just don’t want to know. Consider this public records request withdrawn. Sounds like a great stage show either way, rock on.

Oregon Commentator on Binge

10/19/2010: The Oregon Commentator has been on a binge. Alex Tomchak Scott is publishing daily updates of UO relevant stories, with commentary. Very popular at Johnson Hall, I hear. They also published the best yet inside view of the recent riots, by Russ Coyle (p 18). Their proposed solution? Lower the drinking age to 16. This is their solution to everything, but it makes more sense than giving UO cops guns. To top it off, a serious article on Gutenberg College on University Street (P 16) by Sophie Lawhead. I’d always wondered about Gutenberg was about – great books.