Mark Watson appointed interim Dean of Libraries

From: <> On Behalf Of Shelley Harshe
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2019 11:44 AM
Subject: lib-staff: Mark Watson named interim dean of UO Libraries

This message is being sent on behalf of Provost and Senior Vice President Jayanth Banavar.

Dear UO Libraries Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to let you know that I have named Mark Watson as interim dean of Libraries. He will take over for Adriene Lim, who announced late last month that her last day at UO is July 8.

Mark is currently the Libraries’ associate dean for research services. Before that, he served as interim head of UO Science Libraries, overseeing the operations of the Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library, and as co-interim dean of Libraries before Adriene’s arrival in 2014.

He started at UO in 1986 as a catalog librarian. In 1998, he became associate librarian for Technical Services, providing leadership for acquisitions, cataloging, inter-library loans and library systems. He was associate university librarian for collections and access from 2002 to 2013, coordinating activities across six areas and supervising 80 staff members. Mark assumed the title of associate dean of libraries for research services in 2014.

Mark has a long history at UO, and he is very knowledgeable about our library system and what is needed to keep things moving forward. He has been actively involved in campus activities, including serving as a member of several search committees across campus. He has volunteered his time as a panel judge for the Graduate School’s research forum, and he has been a UO representative for the Orbis Cascade Alliance’s shared content team.

I am confident that Mark will be a terrific interim dean. He brings a level of experience and understanding to the position that will help us continue moving our libraries forward.

Mark will start in his interim role on July 9 and will serve until a new permanent head of libraries is named; the search for that position will be done under the leadership of the new provost and will commence this fall.

Please join me in congratulating Mark on his new assignment. Thank you for all that you do to help our students, faculty and staff at the UO.


Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

“Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen”

As sang Woody Guthrie. And it seems the economic returns to higher education are so generalizable that they even hold for outlaws. Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link:

Is there any return to education in criminal activities? This paper is one of the first to investigate whether education has not only a positive impact on legitimate, but also on illegitimate activities. We use as a case study one of the longest running criminal corporations in history: the Italian-American mafia. Its most successful members were capable businessmen, orchestrating crimes that required abilities that might be learned at school: extracting the optimal rent when setting up a racket, weighting interests against default risk when starting a loan sharking business or organizing supply chains, logistics and distribution when setting up a drug dealing system. We address this question by comparing mobsters to a variety of samples drawn from the United States 1940 Population Census, including a sample of their closest (non-mobster) neighbors. We document that mobsters have one year less education than their neighbors on average. We find that mobsters have significant returns to education of 7.5–8.5% , which is only slightly smaller than their neighbors and 2–5 percentage points smaller than for U.S.-born men or male citizens. Mobster returns were consistently about twice as large as a sample of Italian immigrants or immigrants from all origin countries. Within that, those charged with complex crimes including embezzlement and bookmaking have the highest returns. We conclude that private returns to education exist even in the illegal activities characterized by a certain degree of complexity as in the case of organized crime in mid-twentieth century United States.

Legislature to add ~$100M to PUSF, Gov Brown wants more

6/7/2019 update: Legislature to add ~$100M to PUSF, Gov Brown wants more

That’s the rumor today. According to Pres Schill’s proposal below, $120M would keep UO’s tuition increase below the 5% trigger for HECC review, and also save Duck AD Rob Mullens a couple hundred large to help pay for his new baseball coach.

5/20/2019 update: Update: Millions from staff and students, not a cent from Duck athletics or Law

President Schill has sent his tuition increase recommendations to the BOT, below. His proposal cuts TFAB’s support for low income students, keeps the LERC and museum cuts, and leaves athletic subsidies untouched. The TFAB’s proposal was for a progressive increase in financial aid as tuition increased. Pres Schill’s recommendation is for only $350K in new financial aid, and that only if the tuition increase goes above 5%, the level which triggers HECC review.

Meanwhile, the “temporary” budget funding for law school scholarships increases by $190K. Of the $44M in fee remissions President Schill mentions below, $7M or goes to UO’s ~410 law school students, for an average of $17,100 each, per year. (I don’t know how it’s split up). The other $37M is divided among UO’s 22,350 other students, for an average of $1,650.

Continue reading

CAS task force recommends against dismemberment

While President Schill’s charge to the task force told them not to make a recommendation for or against breakup, they ignored this, and recommend against a breakup. He has accepted their advice, for now. Perhaps the new provost will try to restart this fight someday, but the report from Karen Ford’s committee doesn’t leave a lot of room to try. Presumably the next step will be to start integrating the Knight Campus into CAS.

See below for the full report and Pres Schill’s response. From the report’s conclusions:

Even those on the Task Force interested in learning about other, possibly better, college structures raised concerns about the costs (financial, time, effort, and personal costs) of restructuring CAS. There is a general skepticism about making large structural changes that would require the UO to set up two or three new college dean’s offices. Given the widely held conviction that we do not have resources to create something better than what we have, the group concluded that this is not the time to make large, structural changes. Even those most interested in change do not want to change unless we are sure we’re creating something better and have the resources to realize its benefits.

Most agree that the cost of restructuring CAS would be prohibitive and that we should invest any money there might be for this project in improving CAS. This sentiment deepened over the course of our deliberations by news of the budget cuts and the Provost stepping down. CAS TF discussions tended toward improving rather than restructuring CAS, a focus that fell within the broad charge from the President and Provost. To aid communication and facilitate reference, we enumerate our principal conclusions. Since specific suggestions made by large, visible committees may become unwanted and unwarranted benchmarks, we restrict our conclusions to summary assessments and the attendant lessons drawn (with one exception, item 1 below).

1. We recommend seating a small vision committee tasked with addressing the President’s concern about the establishment and communication of division- and college-level visions raised during the lunch meeting in March. It is understood that this committee will seek input from all CAS stakeholders.

2. CAS is anomalous relative to most other public research universities only because UO lacks medical/engineering/agricultural schools.

3. There is broad and strong resistance to large-scale restructuring, including “splitting up CAS.”

4. There is considerable evidence that success is not closely related to structure–any structure can work. Leadership quality, administrative roles, and internal structures may be primary to a college’s success.

5. There is broad and strong support for the recommendation that if CAS is to be split or otherwise significantly restructured, then the reasons must be clearly articulated; further, in case of restructuring, it should be evident that the benefits outweigh the substantial costs, which include transition costs and uncertainty.

6. There is broad and strong support for a renewed emphasis on liberal arts education and scholarship as central to the university’s mission.

7. There is broad and strong support for a renewed emphasis on interdisciplinary education and scholarship.

8. Cooperation, rather than competition, among deans should be fostered–a best practice that CAS already enjoys and should be extended to the deans of the other schools and colleges.


President Schill’s response:

Senate to hold last meeting of year, today June 5th

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

3:00 P.M.   Call to order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Bill Harbaugh
  • Remarks: President Schill

3:29 PM   Approval of Minutes

3:30 PM     Business / Reports:

  • Vote on Other Curricular Matters included in the Curriculum Report: A change to the last date for students to add courses. Full Text: “The last day to add a course is to be moved from the Sunday preceding the second week at 11:59 p.m. to the Monday of the second week at 11:59 p.m.” Frances White.
  • Vote: US18/19-21: Approval of Curriculum Report, Spring 2019; Frances White
  • Vote on new Senate VP / President Elect. Elizabeth Skowron (Psychology, Senate Vice President) [Statement from candidate Elliot Berkman (Psych) here.]
  • Pass the gavel
  • UO Senate Award for Shared Governance, Transparency and Trust: To Karen Ford (College of Arts & Sciences and English), Jessica Price (General Counsel’s Office), Brent Walth (Journalism)
  • UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for Officers of Administration: To Annie Herz (Human Resources)
  • UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award: To Terry McQuilkin (UO Libraries)
  • UO Senate Wayne T. Westling Award: To Karen Ford (College of Arts & Sciences and English), Leslie Opp-Beckman (American English Institute)
  • Another recognition

4:50 PM   Open Discussion
4:52 PM   Other Reports
4:54 PM   Notice(s) of Motion
4:56 PM   Other Business
5:00 PM   Adjourn to Faculty Club, all invited!

Has Phil Knight ruined Track Town along with Hayward Field?

The Oregonian’s Ken Goe reports here:

… The Ducks had just one regular-season home meet in 2017 and two 2018, in part, because of delays in Hayward’s reconstruction timeline.

There were no home meets this year. Next year is in question. The NCAA championships, held at Hayward from 2013-18, have moved to Austin, Texas, for this year and next.

The NCAA meet is scheduled to return in 2021 and 2022. But there is pushback among college track coaches in other parts of the country to the idea that Eugene should become the meet’s permanent site, the way Omaha is for NCAA baseball’s College World Series.

The new stadium will have 12,500 permanent seats, making it significantly larger than historic Hayward Field, which sat no more than 8,500 without temporary bleachers and often was not more than half full.

The new version should work nicely for the annual Prefontaine Classic and the 2020 Olympic trials, which have been awarded to Eugene, assuming the stadium is finished by next summer. But the trials only happen every four years and are unlikely to take place in Eugene forever.

When the 2021 World Championships are over, it looks for all the world that the University of Oregon will have a track stadium built for major meets that afterward will fill for … what?

“Tractor pulls?” asks Peter Thompson, a coach and former senior manager with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who makes his home in Eugene. …


Pres Schill about to make “secret” decision about UO’s academic future

6/3/2019 update:

I think the most dysfunctional aspect of this secret search is that whoever gets the job of leader of UO’s academic side will not be able to make a plausible claim that they have a mandate from the faculty. The RG’s Jordyn Brown reports that UO will not even release the names of the candidates:

The UO holds that this process is “confidential,” said spokesperson Molly Blancett in a Monday email. The UO would not release the names of candidates, although they already are public employees of the university. Blancett cited Oregon’s public records exemption for personal privacy as the reason for the university withholding candidate names.

And the search committee has been told President Schill doesn’t even want to know how they rank the finalists. (Full disclosure: they did decide I was unacceptable, even at 1/2 the usual price, which shows some good judgement.)

At least 100 faculty, OA’s and staff now know the names and have read the statements from the finalists – but we are expected to keep up the charade of secrecy and not discuss them with our colleagues. This is silly.

5/16/2019: Rumor down at the Faculty Club is that the list includes:

 Patrick Phillips (Biology)

Scott Pratt (Philosophy)

Dennis Galvan (International Studies)

Marcilynn Burke (Law)

Bill Harbaugh (Economics) -as confirmed by Hannah Kanik in the Emerald.

If you have a better rumor, or actual information, please post a comment.

Elliot Berkman (psych) elected Senate VP/President Elect

6/7/2019 update: 

Elizabeth Skowron (Psychology) is Senate President for the 19-20 AY. Elliot Berkman will be VP, and then Senate President for 20-21.

6/3/2019: Elliot Berkman (psych) only Senate VP candidate for Wed. election

I won’t be running again, and so far this is the only candidate statement posted on the Senate webpage here:

Berkman Candidate Statement
May 29, 2019 Continue reading

Pres Schill denies VP Henley’s gag orders violate Academic Freedom Policy:

Reporting a potential violation of UO’s Academic Freedom Policy:

Pres Schill’s response to an inquiry from the Senate President and Past President:

From: Mike Schill <>
Subject: RE: Reporting a potential violation of UO’s Academic Freedom Policy
Date: May 29, 2019 at 9:35:40 AM PDT
To: Senate President <>, Jayanth Banavar <>, Kevin Reed <>

Dear Bill,

I do not believe that there is sufficient evidence here to warrant an investigation of Kyle Henley. I have asked Kyle what he meant when he asked Dave to request that all media inquiries go to Molly Blancett. His response was that he wanted there to be a consistent response about what the provost was proposing so that rumors filled with inaccuracies didn’t spread. While the cuts we have been required to make are expressed in dollars, they will, by necessity, be felt by human beings. It is very important that accurate information be given to the media and thereby transmitted to potentially affected individuals.

I believe Kyle when he states that he never meant for this request to silence dissent on campus with respect to the wisdom or necessity of the cuts. Indeed, we have encouraged folks to give us their views even when those views have been inaccurate, insulting and/or entirely infeasible. Kyle joins me in his belief in the value of free speech and respectful, robust debate on campus, even when that speech is critical of Johnson Hall.

Kyle’s explanation rings true with me so I am rejecting your request for an investigation.

I appreciate your commitment to free speech.



Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
University of Oregon

My request:

From: Senate President <>
Subject: Reporting a potential violation of UO’s Academic Freedom Policy
Date: May 28, 2019 at 8:16:26 PM PDT
To: Mike Schill <>, Jayanth Banavar <>, Kevin Reed <

Dear President Schill, Provost Banavar, and General Counsel Reed:

We are writing as UO Senate President and Immediate Past President, to report a potential violation of UO’s Academic Freedom Policy by VP for University Communications Kyle Henley.

UO’s Academic Freedom Policy was adopted by the UO Senate on 4/9/2014 and signed by then UO President Michael Gottfredson on 5/28/2014. The full policy is appended below.

This policy states:

“… The University of Oregon encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to the university community. The University of Oregon protects free speech through Policy No. 01.00.16. This policy on Academic Freedom builds on these existing commitments by recognizing the special contexts of scholarship, teaching, governance, and public service. …

c. POLICY AND SHARED GOVERNANCE. Members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance.”

The email below, sent on 4/11/2019 by the Provost’s Office Communications Director David Austin at VP for Communication Kyle Henley’s request, to Angela Wilhems, Provost Banavar, and Exec Provost Scott Pratt, directs them to email the directors of the Labor Education and Research Center, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, states

“Kyle [Henley] wants to make sure that people from these areas don’t “freelance” and talk to the media about their frustrations.”

The email goes on to tell these Directors to run media inquiries through Central Communications – meaning Mr. Henley’s office. This sort of warning to administrators not to speak freely to the press is exactly the sort restriction on academic freedom that UO’s Academic Freedom Policy is meant to prohibit. The policy says

“Members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance.” (Emphasis added.)

Restrictions such as that imposed by this email prevent the university community and the public from obtaining accurate information about the governance of the university, and they reduce trust in the university administration. As President Schill in his 5/17/2019 “Open Mike” email put it,

“Transparency is the best policy. Whenever possible administrators should be as forthcoming as possible, subject to the privacy rights of members of our community.”

I ask you to investigate this potential violation of the Academic Freedom Policy, determine if there have been other similar violations by Central Communications, and take appropriate disciplinary actions to discourage further such violations.Bill Harbaugh
UO Econ Prof & Senate Pres

Chris Sinclair
UO Math Assoc Prof & Immediate Past President of the Senate

Austin email:

UO pays equity consultant ~$120,000 to give 12 faculty $4,700

The blame for this debacle should be shared between the UO administration and the UAUO faculty union. The faculty union, however, has learned from it never to get involved in something that involves 50 hours of meetings with administrators and a consultant who makes a living telling administrators what they want to hear. Looking at the new Faculty Tracking Software scheme, it seems the administration took away a different lesson.

Long story short, 2 years ago then UAUO President Michael Dreiling signed an MOU with the administration for a 1.5% ATB raise for TTF in Jan 2019, with another 0.75% sent aside for “equity raises” – meaning raises directed at underpaid women and minorities, as identified by a standard regression model with department, rank, and time in rank as dependent variables. Any remaining funds were to got to ATB raises. It took UO about a year to hire a consultant. It took the consultant about a year to run a regression and interpret the outliers.

So, in fall, 12 TTF faculty will get equity raises averaging $4,700 each. The rest of the TTF will get ~0.5% retroactive, all with interest. UO has paid the consultant ~$120K, and burned through maybe 500 hours of OA and faculty time let’s call it $250K altogether, to transfer ~50K to 12 people. It may or may not be equitable, but it sure isn’t efficient.

More interestingly, at the same time UO was paying consultants to go through this process, which was almost entirely based on the premise that professors in the same departments with the same rank should be paid similarly, it was paying lawyers to argue, in the Jennifer Freyd case, that professors in the same department with the same rank do such different jobs that their work and salary cannot be compared.

It will be interested to see how the courts reconcile any lawsuits that might come out these equity raises with the Freyd lawsuit, which has been appealed to the 9th circuit.

Meanwhile Missy Matella, who ran the Gender Equity Project, won’t give me the regression results unless I pay her ~$400, but they’ve posted a lot of descriptive stuff here.

GTFF occupy Johnson Hall to protest crappy UO offer

The Johnson Hall lobby has been the primo spot for sit-ins since Nam, Workers Rights, and Dana Altman’s players rape allegations. My favorite was the UO Divest campaign, where emotions ran so high the protestors refused the chocolate Pres Schill brought them. Then Kevin Reed had to ruin the good feelings by confiscating their “Divest Now” banner and making threatening suggestions about how true civil disobedience required getting arrested and a permanent record – which he seemed happy to try and arrange.

It’s still got great wi-fi, bathrooms and chairs, and so the GTFF have been occupying it while grading essays:



What is the correct ignition timing for an ’87 GMC Caballero with a vacuum distributor?

That is a trick question. No one could answer that question. The ’87 Caballero didn’t come with a vacuum distributor. It came with a computer controlled distributor. However, if you were to retrofit it with a vacuum advance distributor for $55 off ebay, the correct ignition timing would be 10 degrees before top dead center:

IT to absorb CASIT and CMET

Update: UO to start using 2-factor identification, someday. No word on whether they’re also going to make me change the duckweb password I’ve used for assigning grades and direct payroll deposit since 1995.

Town Hall today at 1 in the Knight browsing room. Thanks to an anonymous reader for forwarding:

From: Jessie Minton <>
Date: May 24, 2019 at 5:00:41 PM PDT” <>
Subject: [IT-Pros] CASIT and CMET to join Information Services

Two UO IT groups, CASIT and CMET, will be joining Information Services. Initial work to transfer all staff and open positions to IS has started, with in-depth work beginning in June.

These changes do not signal a shift in how Transform IT’s User Support Services (USS) implementation will occur. USS will continue to take a service-based principles approach with all campus IT services, including those provided by CAS, CMET, and Information Services.

A draft of the transition plan lists the following changes:

    • Ben Brinkley reports to Noreen Hogan, and Loring Hummel, along with the web services team, continue to report to Ben Brinkley. CMET’s Canvas and LMS administrators will also report to Ben Brinkley.
    • CMET’s audio/visual design and engineering team will report to Andy Vaughn in the Technology Infrastructure team.
    • Sam Crow’s CASIT support team reports to Patrick Chinn.
    • Chad Little (CASIT computer lab management) and Tyrone Russ (CASIT buyer) will report to Sara Stubbs. CMET’s video production team and classroom technologist will also report to Sara Stubbs.
    • Liz Pehaim (CASIT account technician) will join Information Services’ business team.

I will present the upcoming User Support Services implementation project at a town hall on Transform IT on Tuesday, May 28, at 1:00 p.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room. (The event will also be available via streaming for Portland staff in White Stag 150.) I will share the vision for the USS implementation project and touch on how the transitions will happen. This event will be a great opportunity for anyone to ask questions. If you prefer sending in a question ahead of time, please email it to

I want to take the time to note that these changes are designed to strengthen the work, the collaboration, and the university. We will continue to work with our partners across campus to provide excellent service. Take care and I look forward to connecting with everyone soon.

Jessie Minton | Vice Provost & Chief Information Officer