Well-paid UO Consultants


Those ingrates at Huron Higher Ed consultants have almost finished their $1.789 million consulting job, leaving behind this description of the UO administrators that hired them, and “The Oregon Way”:

UO Matters is running its own competition for the best definition of “The Oregon Way”. Enter yours in the comments. We can’t match Frances Dyke and Rich Linton’s $1.789 million prize, but the best entry gets a UO Matters coffee cup.

Who’s the boss here?

6/7/2011: Stanley Fish – former professor, former administrator, seldom a very interesting columnist – revisits an old question in the NYT:

If you’re a college or university teacher, whom do you work for?

… Academics want to have it both ways, and sometimes do. They want, that is, to work in an organization and enjoy its benefits and at the same time be their own bosses. The way they rationalize this condition of privilege (who wouldn’t want to enjoy it?) is to say that they work for no one or for everyone: they work for the common good. …

Does this mean, then, that members of the “wider public” get to monitor or even vote on what university teachers do? Far from it. The common good academics are pledged to advance is not common, they assert in the sense of being recognizable by just anyone. Only academics highly trained in complex techniques of inquiry are capable of understanding what the enterprise requires; the public should keep its hands off the good the academy is producing for it. So while academics don’t work for the dean or the president or the board of trustees, none of whom has the right to tell them what to do or constrain their ways of doing it, the public for whom they do work is not enlightened enough to appreciate their efforts and can’t tell them what to do either. What a deal! …

UO teaching HS furlough classes

6/4/2012: First I’d heard of this constructive idea, from KEZI:

With plenty of parents worried about how furlough days will affect their child’s education, the University of Oregon is stepping up to help.

A group of UO professors are volunteering to teach low-cost courses on days when local high schools are not in session.

The schedule includes courses on microeconomics, environmental science, introduction to political science, complex ecosystems, advanced political theory, and the founding of the United States.

Organized by Tom Lininger from the law school.

20 tons of the good shit:

Bad news from the RG. UO’s final exams start Monday. Rumor has it desperate undergrads are already looting the Starbucks on 13th:

OAKRIDGE — A Nevada man escaped injury this morning after his tractor-trailer rig overturned on Highway 58 east of Oakridge, state police officials said. The crash occurred when a westbound Freightliner truck driven by Rafael Acevedo-Vera drifted off the road shoulder, jackknifed and rolled onto the passenger side. The big rig came to rest while blocking the eastbound lane, officials said. 
The truck’s trailer contained about 40,000 pounds of coffee beans, officials said.

On the bright side this should solve Ian Mcneely’s grade inflation problem, for this year.

UO fires Arabic instructors

6/2/2011: I’m hoping that this ODE story is not an entirely accurate description of what happened in our Arabic program. But at this point anything is plausible. Maybe they needed the money for another Associate VP of strategic planning and communication? Or to pay for our new VP for Diversity? Check here for the amazingly long list of administrative positions they are currently searching for.

You know the Lit job market is tough when this starts happening:

5/29/2011: “Dempsey, 59, earned a master’s degree from Duke University – in English”. Apparently he was unable to find work in his field. From Margaret Soltan.

Here’s another one: “His doctoral thesis at Indiana’s Ball State offered no hints about the career he would pursue: “The Solo Songs of Edward MacDowell: An Examination of Style and Literary Influence.”


Update, 4/27/2011: One week after my post below, Barack Obama finally released his long form birth certificate. Coincidence? Every other sentient being on the planet may think so, but not me and this other guy with a website. With the help of Donald Trump and Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, UO Matters is going to win the public records fight, one president at a time.

4/20/2011: I’ve had my doubts for years, but I kept quiet to avoid the smirks of my liberal college professor colleagues down at the faculty club. But this NYT photo nails it: Barack Obama is not a US citizen. He is in fact the son of a Barbary pirate, conceived, born and raised at sea off Tripoli. He comes ashore only to wreak havoc on the infidels. Zoom in and you can see the blood on his scimitar – the blood of Christians. The eye-patch is the clincher. As for the ear-ring, don’t ask.

Attorney General rules University Foundation must release records

4/27/2014: That would be in North Dakota. The SPLC has the story here.

5/26/2011: University foundations to follow open records law

In California, that is.

The UO Foundation is no fan of transparency. Last year they actually went to Attorney General Kroger and procured a special ruling exempting them from Oregon’s public records law. Here’s the letter from their lawyer, Frederick Batson, requesting the ruling.

They release the absolute minimum of financial information. Try finding out how much they are paying CEO R. Paul Weinhold, or CIO Jay Namyet, or for that matter their former CEO Karen Kreft, who received hefty raises, benefits, and then what looks like 18 months of severance, at $300K a year. The only data is from the mandatory IRS reports, and their compliance director Erika Funk delays release of those to the last possible minute. Try finding out how they spend the donations they receive. They release only rudimentary info, refusing to break down much of their spending into academic/athletic categories – which other university foundations do as a matter of course. They collect far more from Duck Athletic Fund donations – solicited as help for athlete’s college expenses – than they spend on tuition, fees, and books. They won’t say where they spend the rest of that donor money.

The UC and CSU Foundations have done these sorts of things themselves – but they have now agreed to clean up their act. From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

California Universities Drop Opposition to Donor-Transparency Bill

May 25, 2011, 2:38 pm

The University of California and California State University systems will no longer oppose a bill that would make their nonprofit foundations subject to the state’s open-records law, the bill’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, announced on Wednesday. The universities aggressively fought similar legislation in past years, and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it twice over concerns that it would violate the privacy of university donors who wished to remain anonymous. But Mr. Yee reached an agreement on a compromise bill, which is very likely to be enacted, that he said would protect the anonymity of any donor who did not receive certain monetary rewards or attempt to “influence curriculum or university operations.”

Sociology majors beat business majors on the GMAT

4/18/2011: I sprung for the NYT 99 cent trial:

Business majors spend less time preparing for class than do students in any other broad field, according to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement: nearly half of seniors majoring in business say they spend fewer than 11 hours a week studying outside class. In their new book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” the sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa report that business majors had the weakest gains during the first two years of college on a national test of writing and reasoning skills. And when business students take the GMAT, the entry examination for M.B.A. programs, they score lower than students in every other major. …

At the beginning of freshman year and end of sophomore year, students in the study took the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a national essay test that assesses students’ writing and reasoning skills. During those first two years of college, business students’ scores improved less than any other group’s. Communication, education and social-work majors had slightly better gains; humanities, social science, and science and engineering students saw much stronger improvement. 

In case you were skeptical of a liberal arts education.