UW-Madison trys to copy Lariviere, get out of the UW system.

2/17/2011: From Insidehighered.com. The UW-Madison head says:

“In my view, it is dangerous not only for UW-Madison, but for the entire System and the state to have the System administration and the regents oppose the possibility that its flagship campus, or any other campus, be given the tools it needs to preserve quality and contribute to economic recovery,” she wrote. There is nothing to be gained, in this economic and political environment, from opposing an innovative and helpful step that could move the entire system and state forward.”

Goldschmidt victim obituary

1/31/2011: The Oregonian prints the tragic story of Elizabeth Duncan, the girl who was the victim of Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon Governor, US Secretary of Transporation, and (briefly) OUS President. She died two weeks ago after a life of drug abuse and mental illness. He is still a well connected politico and consultant in Portland. The story reports – I think for the first time – that he first had sex with her when she was 13, and continued while she was a UO Clark Honors College student.

The wikipedia entry on former UO President Frohnmayer explains his odd link to the scandal:

Frohnmayer was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon in 1990. Popular Democratic incumbent Neil Goldschmidt withdrew after Frohnmayer’s campaign manager, Donna Zajonc, said “…you’ve got to believe that the best family will win” at a news conference,[1] which was then reported by Jeff Mapes in The Oregonian.[2] Zajonc’s statement was interpreted at the time as threat to use Goldschmidt’s collapsing marriage as a political issue.[2][3] Goldschmidt quickly withdrew from the race, an event that was considered one of the “great mysteries in Oregon politics”[1] until 2004, when Goldschmidt admitted to having a sexual relationship with a minor in the 1970s.[4] He and Goldschmidt had been classmates at University of California, Berkeley law school. Frohnmayer subsequently lost the election to Barbara Roberts, the Democrat who was nominated after Goldschmidt’s withdrawal, in a three-way race that included independent, Oregon Citizens Alliance-backed[5] candidate Al Mobley.[6]

UO is now a "Very High" research school.

1/26/2011: That’s according to the new Carnegie Foundation rankings, based on 2010 data. 73 public institutions are in this group. OSU has been it in it for a while, this is the first time UO has made the cut. Nice. It must have been my grants that put us over the line. Or more likely some fat congressional earmarks. It sure as hell wasn’t Provost Bean’s 5 big ideas, the $90,000 he doles out to faculty for summer support, or our 42% ICC rate – thanks Ms Dyke!

It’s now 20 months since Provost Bean wrote this email:

From: James Bean [mailto:jcbean@uoregon.edu]
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Deans Working Group
Subject: Faculty Salaries

The Missouri article stating that UO has the lowest salaries in the AAU has caused quite a stir (we have since verified that they were correct). Low salaries were always thought of as just Oregonian. But 34 out of 34 is a whole other thing. We cannot have this. Richard’s reaction was “this is job #1.” Richard will likely have an announcement on how we are attacking this when politically feasible (after last gavel). Please communicate to your faculty that the Missouri article really got our attention. This may require disruptive solutions.

Thanks, Jim

_______________________________
James C. Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost
202 Johnson Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1258
T 541-346-3186
F 541-346-2023

Since then, the only person around here to get a raise worthy of any IRS attention is UO administrator Randy Geller. And of course the jocks. And soon the cops. Disruptive solutions? Really?

Meanwhile, when the Delta project data comes out in May, any bets on what UO’s administrative bloat level will be up to? Over 100% of comparators, I’m guessing. If not this year then when the 2011 data is released. Bean and Dyke have been hiring like crazy, for all kinds of pointless administrative jobs. AVP of this, Director of that.

Here’s what they are spending the money on. They will write two special bills for the legislature for a pointless conversion to a sworn police department, but they are too chicken-shit to take the heat for doing something to boost faculty salaries above the absolute bottom Actually, 10% below the next lowest school. Who makes these allocation decisions? Who is running UO?

10 year tenure clock

rejected by the Michigan faculty. The interesting part?

For faculty members hired as assistant professors at Michigan, tenure is not a certainty. Between 1982 and 2004, 54.6 percent of those hired as assistant professors received tenure, according to Michigan’s office of budget and planning. 

It is almost unheard of for a UO professor to be turned down for tenure. The recent stats I’ve seen are on the order of 1 out of 30 or less. Of course some assistants leave before coming up. Still we must be way above 54% getting tenure.

At UO final tenure and promotion decisions are made by the Provost with advice from the Faculty Personnel Committee. A few years ago Russ Tomlin argued that the Provost did not have to share his rationale for deciding against the FPC recommendations, memo here. The kerfuffle was all about OIED VP Charles Martinez, who ended up with tenure in Education – to whence he will go on July 1.

OC interview issue

1/25/2011: The Oregon Commentator provides excellent interviews with campus notables in its latest issue. Mostly campus notables who haven’t been on campus long enough to know that they will regret it. Our new Dean of Students, Paul Shang, for example:

OC: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has listed the UO as a Red Light school for its speech code policy (see box for an explanation of what this means). How do you juggle the responsibility of providing free expression and student safety?

PS: That’s kind of a conversation that evolves. Depending on what the issue is and how something is stated, you can get different kinds of perspectives on what sorts of infringements are occurring. FIRE looks at things from just the free speech perspective. There are, in my opinion, a lot of issues having to do with free speech that people need to be thoughtful about. The fact that we are the only democratic society in the world that has these notions of unbridled speech is something that we need to think about. Canada has limitations of speech. England, Israel, all kinds of democratic countries have different perspectives on unbridled speech. That is something that may become more of an issue as our country evolves.

Ok, I thought about it Paul. And to quote first amendment author James Madison, “fuck off”.

Meanwhile President Lariviere refused to be interviewed, leading to this exchange between his spokesperson and reporter Alex Tomchak Scott:

Lariviere only to consent to an interview with pre-screened questions and responses.January 18th, 2011 by Alex Tomchak Scott

Here’s an e-mail I got from the UO’s spokesperson Julie Brown this morning.

    Hi Alex,

    I hope you’re well.  I’m following up about your request to interview President Lariviere.  It’s disappointing that you chose to write about your conversation with Staci, but I want to help you get the information you’re requesting. You can always contact me with requests for leaders on campus in the same way you did when working for the ODE.

    The president wants students to be informed about how the legislative action this winter and spring may change the short-term and long-term access and affordability of education. As I understand your request, this will be the topic of your Q&A. Please send your questions to me and I will facilitate getting the president’s answers for you. Deadline information would be helpful too.

    Thanks,

    Julie

Let me say this about Julie Brown: I worked for the Emerald for two years and dealt with her on a regular basis, so I have ample experience working with her. Spokespeople get a lot of criticism from journalists, but I never found her to be anything other than helpful and honest to the greatest degree possible, professional even when, as in my wayward early days, I was not. If I lived in a circle of hell where I could only conduct interviews through questions relayed by a public relations professional, I’d want Julie Brown to be that professional.

However, that’s not where I live. If given the choice between questioning someone in a position of power through a public relations professional and not questioning him or her at all, when the object is a question-and-answer transcript, I think any journalist who truly values the difficult, precise questions and spontaneous, unrehearsed responses that such a situation requires would choose the latter option.

In fairness to Lariviere, the OC’s previous issue was on “Big Balls”.

Pat Kilkenny is an investor in Courtside and Center Court

1/6/2011: Pat Kilkenny was hired as UO Athletic Director by former UO Pesident Dave Frohnmayer to push Phil Knight’s basketball arena project through, after Kilkenny made a well-timed $240,000 donation to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Kilkenny then got the OUS Chancellor and board to sell $237 million in state guaranteed bonds to build the arena, by lying to them, the faculty, and then to the state legislature about the revenue projections. Frohnmayer helped out by hiding a UO Foundation paid consultant’s report from the legislative fiscal analyst.

Now it turns out Kilkenny is part owner, with his brother, of 2 large apartment complexes built right next to the new arena. And UO has a special contract with the buildings to house students. And Kilkenny is still on the UO payroll – just enough to be eligible for our benefits package. Last year President Lariviere told us:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated under my administration.

It is being repeated. Time to put our new General Counsel, Randy Geller, on the case. Unless he’s the one who wrote the contract, of course. Camilla Mortensen of the Eugene Weekly rakes through the muck:

Will Pat Kilkenny profit from developments next to the Matthew Knight Arena he pushed through when he was UO athletic director? Mega-donor Phil Knight has lauded Kilkenny for making the arena possible, and we heard from multiple reliable sources that Kilkenny is one of the unnamed partners in the costly Courtside apartments next door. Portland attorney Russell Kilkenny, agent for 1410 Orchard Street LLC, which bought the Courtside property in February 2010, confirmed via email, “Pat Kilkenny has an ownership interest related to 1410 Orchard Street, LLC.” …

According to the UO website, Pat Kilkenny is still a part of the university as the “Special Assistant to the Athletic Director,” and, according to the UO unclassified personnel list of March 1 to May 31 2010, his 12-month appointment is a 50 percent full-time equivalent (FTE), enough to be eligible for the state benefits package. His salary is $25,883.

As an employee of the UO, which is a public body, Kilkenny can be considered a public official. According to Oregon state law,  “A public official may not attempt to further or further the personal gain of the public official through the use of confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of holding position as a public official.”

One question still unresolved is why Pat Kilkenny chose to not publicly disclose his financial interest in this housing project from the beginning. — Camilla Mortensen

How did kilkenny get to be Athletic Director? The year before Frohnmayer put him on the UO payroll and gave him control of hundreds of millions in public bond money Kilkenny donated $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Everybody has a price – sad is not the only word that comes to mind here. Here are the clips from Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck Foundation” IRS reports:

2006:

2007:

2008:

2009: The filing deadline has passed, but they are ignoring requests for the forms.

Should the jocks get credit for increasing enrollment?

12/30/2010: UO Prof Richard Sundt takes on the boosters. From the RG Letters:

Academic success has other causes

In his Dec. 27 guest viewpoint, Duck fan Alex Richanbach is mad at the University of Oregon Athletic Department for telling Glendale game-goers to wear yellow. He nevertheless celebrates the Ducks’ unbridled consumerism, which, among other things, means relentless changes of uniform style and color, all thanks to wealthy donors. Richanbach is equally enthusiastic about UO athletics, for its success “has directly influenced the success and popularity of our academic programs.”

As a moviemaker, he brings his Hollywood unreality to color his perception of what makes the UO attractive to many students, including those from California. He writes: “The growth of admissions, faculty and facilities is impressive, and … much of that has its roots in the innovative work done by the athletic department.”

Before engaging in such undocumented boosterism, of the sort also plied by the UO Foundation in its full-page ad last summer in The Register-Guard, he needs to explain why admissions are up at all public Oregon universities, including those that cannot match UO prowess in sports. Moreover, he should examine in detail whether other donations (besides those of Nike and its allies) have come to us because of athletics.

And if he digs deeper, he will learn that, in most cases, the quality and reputation of the faculty, particularly those holding the Knight-endowed chairs, long preceded Oregon’s current success on the playing field, and that their innovative research, and that of other UO faculty, has in many cases been made possible by funding won through national and international academic competitions.

Richard Sundt

Give to support UO Matters

12/22/2010: No, don’t. That would be insane. Not that I’m an expert on charitable giving. I do get asked if we accept donations though. We don’t, unless they are in bottles and aged at least 12 years. Google gives us most of what we need free. Dropbox does the rest. Every now and then we pay a little for public records, but mostly we prefer to fight the bastards for them – more sporting for us, and more of a lesson for them.

The NYT does have an interesting article on how to use donations to minimize AMT exposure, however. And given that Oregon’s high income taxes are not deductible for the AMT, while donations are, it might well make sense for some of our readers – I’m talking to you overpaid administrators, you know who you are – to give their money to a charity rather than the IRS.

But which charity? My favorite is the Duck Athletic Fund. Because Mike Bellotti and Rob Mullens really need your support, and those sons of bitches are going to get every dollar they can from UO anyway. Why fight it. Go Ducks.

Or you could give to the Sunlight Foundation or the EFF, and tell Cory and Larry that UO Matters sent you.

Pushing the ‘brand’ too far

The Dec. 18 article “UO’s retail revision” suggests a tone-deaf University of Oregon Athletic Department that has come to believe its own hype…. Joe Giansante’s bloated, mercenary vision of the university. He trills that “Oregon is a national brand. Serving fans around the world is our business.” No. His business is educating college students…. Surely there is a more serious person for Giansante’s position, someone who understands that without the university as an educational institution,…

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.