Disgraced GC Melinda Grier started claim that Duck coaches are professors

3/1/2017:  ESPN picks up the story, here:

The University of Oregon is writing a new policy that could make coaches’ disciplinary records inaccessible to the public under Freedom of Information Act laws.

According to The Register-Guard, the policy “explicitly says the personnel records of about 1,400 staff members, called ‘officers of administration,’ a classification that includes coaches, are to be treated like faculty personnel records and kept secret.”

2/27/2017: Lots of interesting stuff in the Oregon DOJ’s Public Records Opinions, here. The origin of UO’s claim that Duck coaches are UO faculty seems to have been former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier, who was fired by President Lariviere after the Oregon DOJ decided she had provided “deficient legal representation” in a case that came to light because of her and current Deputy GC Doug Park’s failure to respond to public records requests for Coach Mike Bellotti’s contract. Jeff Manning had the story:

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 9.52.17 PM

Or should that have been “Professor” Mike Bellotti?

Way back in 2001, Ms Grier established the precedent that Duck coaches were faculty for the purposes of public records requests. Here’s the DOJ ruling, which hinges on the fact that Basketball coach Judy Runge had been specifically appointed as a “professor” – something that I’m guessing was not the case with Reaves:

That opinion was a stretch even for AG “Hardly Matters”, who bent over backwards trying to gut Dave Frohnmayer’s public records law. Not that I’m a law professor.

2/26/2017: DA to rule on UO claim that drunk Duck coach deal is a secret “faculty record”

Diane Dietz has the long story here. Some snippets:

… But the original 1971 law that made faculty personnel records secret said only that “personal information” held by a university about faculty and students would not be subject to disclosure under public records law.

In subsequent iterations, lawmakers took students out of the law and dealt with their privacy elsewhere.

At no time in the law’s evolution to its current version as ORS 352.226 did lawmakers mention any category besides faculty and students. None of the hearing minutes or legislative records that survive mentions “administrators” or “coaches,” for example, as being covered by the law.

… On Feb. 15, the UO Public Records Office cited the faculty records policy to withhold Reaves’ disciplinary records.

Reaves came to Eugene to serve as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach for new head coach Willie Taggart.

Reaves signed a two-year, $300,000-a-year contract with the UO.

Within a week, police stopped him at 2:12 a.m. on a Sunday at 10th Avenue and Willamette Street in downtown Eugene, ­according to the Eugene Police Department.

The charges stemming from the stop are: driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Associated violations included failing to maintain a lane, failing to obey a traffic control device, making an improper left turn and refusing to take a breath test for intoxicants.

The UO publicly said it would fire Reaves, but Reaves soon resigned. The Register-Guard’s record request sought “any separation agreement or financial settlement related to the resignation.”

In the past, the UO has paid big bucks to buy out coaches’ employment contracts. But the UO Public Records Office replied that the documents sought “are faculty records per University of Oregon policy, and as such are not ­public records.”

The RG is petitioning Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow, asking her to issue a public records order to UO and put a stop to this nonsense. Meanwhile I’m wondering how it is that UO’s GC made a public records request for all my emails with reporters about academic freedom, if faculty records are really exempt from the public records law.

UO grade inflation continues, after reform efforts fail

Will Campbell has an excellent data driven story with the history of UO’s failed efforts to fight grade inflation in the Emerald here:

… In 2009, when [CAS Associate Dean Ian McNeely] became chair of the Undergraduate Council, the university-wide body that oversees undergraduate education, he became familiar with grade inflation.

He decided to look into the grading culture at UO. He talked to at least five committees around campus, met with deans and the UO president, held town hall meetings and eventually published a blog in May 2010 to create a wider conversation for UO faculty about grading trends.

McNeely used a UO report from 2006 of the university’s grade statistics as evidence for grade inflation. The report found that between 1992 and 2004, the percentage of A’s awarded went up by about 10 percentage points — 31.3 percent to 41.6 percent— and the percentage of A’s and B’s together went up by seven points — from 65.6 percent to 72.6 percent.

McNeely published a report the next month with three proposals to take action against inflation. The report states that McNeely proposed each department develop specific grading standards, or “collaborate and decide on their own general description on an A, B, C grade, and so on,” he said.

He and the undergraduate council also wanted each department to evaluate the grading habits of its professors. That way department leaders would be able to safeguard against inflation. McNeely’s third proposal suggested that students’ transcripts show what percentage of the class received the same grade. “So that would almost be an incentive for professors not to inflate grades because then it might look bad on a student’s transcript,” he said.

The first proposal passed in the senate, but McNeely said that not every department complied. The other two proposals failed on the senate floor.

Currently, McNeely is unaware of any administrative initiatives to combat grade inflation, he wrote in an email to the Emerald. …

There’s much more, read it all.

The Emerald also has an interface that lets you look at grades by course and instructor here. For example,  here’s one of the infamous AAD 250 Gen Ed classes that VP for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy set up:

Duck’s Willie Taggart brings UO more of that national publicity money can’t buy

2/24/2017: The Washington Post takes a break from their coverage of President Donald Trump’s decision to ban NYT reporters from his press briefings to pick up the story on Duck coach Willie Taggart’s decision to ban Oregonian reporter Andrew Greif, from UO student-journalist Kenny Jacoby:

The WaPo report is a bit sloppy though, labeling Tim Gleason as a UO journalism professor, rather than as the Duck’s well paid “Faculty” Athletics Representative.

2/23/2017: Coach Taggart’s feelings are hurt, so he won’t talk to reporter

I’d never realized that football coaches were such sensitive types. Trumpesque, even? Kenny Jacoby has the story in the Emerald:

Oregon’s new football coach is still upset over a Jan. 16 news report about an early season workout that sent three of his players to the hospital. The report resulted in the suspension of strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde for one month without pay.

Head coach Willie Taggart, whom Oregon hired to replace Mark Helfrich in December, said he is no longer speaking to The Oregonian reporter who broke the story, claiming that the reporter’s characterization of the workouts as “grueling” and “akin to military basic training” were inaccurate, unfair and directly contradicted what Taggart told the reporter before the story was written.

Andrew Greif, whose story broke the news about the players’ hospitalization, defended the piece, noting that multiple sources characterized the workouts as grueling and militaristic. He said UO spokespeople did not question those characterizations when he asked them to confirm the nature of the workouts.“When you’re not fair and honest, then to me that’s personal,” Taggart said. “When you do something that’s negative and it’s going to be personal, then I won’t have shit to do with you.” …

Uh, wait a minute, coach. The strength coach you hired put three of our students in the hospital for a week – and you’re mad at the *reporter* because he hurt your *feelings*?

Say what you will about cousin Jim, at least he’s not a crybaby. On the matter of actual harm, I wonder how much the Ducks are paying to settle with the student-athletes?

And speaking of trying to intimidate reporters, I wonder how the investigation of the Athletic Department’s threat to pull Mr. Jacoby’s press credentials is going.

UO makes national top 10 list for free speech!

Unfortunately it’s the list of the top 10 *worst* universities for free speech. The Oregonian’s Andrew Theen has the report here. The FIRE list is here.

I am quoted by Theen as arguing that top 10 is a bit unfair, given President Schill’s recent decision to drop the proposed restrictions on the time, place, and manner of free speech:

… Harbaugh did credit UO President Michael Schill for one recent policy move that is a win for free speech on campus: stepping away from a controversial proposal to restrict speech under certain time, place and manner restrictions. …

State economists deliver good news on state revenue, reserves, but not PERS

Saul Hubbard has a summary in the RG here, and the economists’s report is here.

The bad news is expenditures, particularly PERS. The state seems hell-bent on getting from the current 70% to 100% fully-funded within 20 years, no matter how much damage that does to the economy. Why not use the $70B in reserves to smooth out the transition over a more realistic 50 years? How did Oregon’s government get to the point where we’re letting an arbitrary accounting rule cause so much pain? The report from the PERS accountants is here.

Contributing to the PERS problem are the unusually low investment returns. How do the finance guys fail to hit their policy benchmarks year after year after year?

UO public records backlog grows – but UO lawyer Kevin Reed gets my free speech emails for free and on time

Sorry, long post.

The UO Public Records Office currently has many unfilled requests for public documents, going back as far as August. They haven’t yet filled any of the requests they’ve received since January 17, more than a month ago, except for boilerplate requests for coaches contracts or directories. The Oregon DOJ says two weeks should generally be enough time to provide public records to the public.

The one exception is General Counsel Kevin Reed’s request for my emails as UO Senate President. He emailed me that request the evening of Jan 16th. I sent him a follow-up asking for clarification, and 3 days after receiving that I sent him all the requested emails at no charge – including those responsive to his rather chilling new request:

“Please share any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees,  which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.”

Despite my cooperation, Reed tried to convince the PR Officer – who works for him – that I’d tried to hide something. She wouldn’t buy it, and last night she updated the log entry to show that I’d provided the records: Those email exchanges are at the bottom of this post.

The rest of the PR log shows how slow the office is generally. Unfortunately UO does not show the fees they are imposing:

Public Requests Record Log

Request Date Title Requester Status
02/20/2017 Salary Data Thornberry, Max Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/20/2017 Documents Graff, Eli Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/20/2017 Grade distribution Johnson, Donna Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/20/2017 Contract Green, Cooper Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/20/2017 Citations Green, Cooper Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/17/2017 Contract Byrd, Colin Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/17/2017 Records Rubbelke, Nathan Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/17/2017 Payments Meek, Austin Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/16/2017 RFPs McGraw, Noah Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/15/2017 RFPs, scoresheet Wilson, Hayley Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/14/2017 Procurement Sessa, Jacqueline Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/13/2017 Contract Thornberry, Max Records Provided
02/13/2017 Financial Records Berkowitz, Steve Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/13/2017 Stale dated checks Lazar, Michael Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/13/2017 Directory Information Nichols, Kylie Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/09/2017 Contract Fagan, Michael Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/09/2017 Contract Sessa, Jacqueline Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/09/2017 Proposals Dietz, Diane Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/09/2017 Procedures Mitchell, Connor Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/08/2017 Contract Walsh, Cavan Records Provided
02/07/2017 Proposals Dietz, Diane Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/07/2017 Proposals Yrazabal, Jeff Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/07/2017 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/06/2017 Correspondence Blutstein, Allan Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/06/2017 RFPs Schreck, Andy Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/06/2017 RFPs Schneider, Joe Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/06/2017 Report Nguyen, Tran Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/06/2017 Agreement Meek, Austin Records Exempt From Disclosure
02/06/2017 Correspondence Greif, Andrew Records Exempt From Disclosure
02/06/2017 Agreement Greif, Andrew Records Exempt From Disclosure
02/06/2017 Agreement Jacoby, Kenneth Records Exempt From Disclosure
02/03/2017 Contracts Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
02/03/2017 Proposals Fuller, Tami Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/02/2017 Contract Nguyen, Tran No Responsive Records
02/01/2017 Proposals Westcott, Janice Requesting/Reviewing Records
02/01/2017 Proposals Jones, Laura Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/31/2017 RFPs, scoresheet Kennedy, Phil Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/30/2017 Contract Maier, John Records Provided
01/27/2017 Contracts Kanter, Richard Records Provided
01/27/2017 Stale dated checks Carlucci, Christopher Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/26/2017 Records Pitcher, Jack Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/25/2017 Scholarship values Pitcher, Jack Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/25/2017 Qualifications and resume Solomon, Jon Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/25/2017 Correspondence Moskovitz, Diana Records Exempt From Disclosure
01/25/2017 Directory Information Parsi, Arash Records Provided
01/24/2017 Fund Allocation Sanchez-Rutledge Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/24/2017 RFPs Van Dyk, Andrew Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/23/2017 Expenditures Hill, Toni Awaiting Payment
01/23/2017 Proposals Klau, Monica Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/23/2017 Contract Shaw, Dana Records Provided
01/23/2017 Bid results Wolff, Roger Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/22/2017 Correspondence Reed, Kevin Records Provided
01/19/2017 Records and correspondence Thornberry, Max Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/19/2017 Documents Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/19/2017 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/18/2017 Records Jacoby, Kenneth Records Exempt From Disclosure
01/18/2017 Contract Byrd, Colin Records Provided
01/18/2017 Directory Information Lee, Garrett Records Provided
01/17/2017 Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/17/2017 Documents Dietz, Diane Records Provided
01/17/2017 Documents Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
01/17/2017 Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/13/2017 Contracts Byrd, Colin Records Provided
01/13/2017 Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/13/2017 Contracts Thorburn, Ryan Records Provided
01/12/2017 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
01/12/2017 Contracts Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
01/12/2017 Contracts Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
01/11/2017 Contract Rote, Kyle Records Provided
01/11/2017 Report Hemphill-Haley, Ethan Requesting/Reviewing Records
01/11/2017 Revenue Field, Andrew Records Provided
01/11/2017 Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/11/2017 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
01/11/2017 Contract Reed, Tarah Awaiting Payment
01/11/2017 Contract Baumbach, Jim Records Provided
01/11/2017 Records Pitcher, Jack Records Exempt From Disclosure
01/09/2017 Publication Byrd, Colin Records Provided
01/06/2017 Grade distribution Gilley, Bruce Records Provided
01/06/2017 Publication Byrd, Colin Records Provided
01/05/2017 Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
01/03/2017 RFPs McGraw, Noah Request Withdrawn
01/03/2017 RFQs Poole, Sabina Requesting/Reviewing Records
12/29/2016 Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
12/29/2016 Contract Thorburn, Ryan Records Provided
12/28/2016 RFQs Richardson, McKenzie Requesting/Reviewing Records
12/23/2016 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
12/22/2016 Analyses Idsvoog, Karl Records Provided
12/22/2016 Invoices Walsh, James Records Exempt From Disclosure
12/19/2016 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
12/19/2016 Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
12/19/2016 Contract Byrd, Colin Records Provided
12/16/2016 Contract Byrd, Colin Records Provided
12/16/2016 Contract Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
12/14/2016 Contract Smith, AJ Records Provided
12/13/2016 Contracts Kish, Matthew Records Provided
12/13/2016 Purchase orders Shaw, Bruce Awaiting Payment
12/12/2016 RFP Westcott, Janice Records Provided
12/12/2016 RFP Westcott, Janice Records Provided
12/09/2016 Salary Data Acker, Lizzy Records Provided
12/07/2016 Itinerary Simantel, Eric Request Withdrawn
12/07/2016 Contract Simantel, Eric Request Withdrawn
12/07/2016 Contract Byrd, Colin Records Provided
12/06/2016 Financial Records Jacoby, Kenneth Request Withdrawn
12/06/2016 Contract Dodson, Joshua Records Provided
12/05/2016 Correspondence Jennings, Chantel Records Provided
12/05/2016 Correspondence Appleby, Keith Awaiting Payment
12/01/2016 Correspondence Silberman, Daniel Records Provided
12/01/2016 Contracts Reed, Tarah No Responsive Records
11/30/2016 Correspondence Alger, Tyson Requesting/Reviewing Records
11/28/2016 Itinerary Alger, Tyson Records Provided
11/28/2016 Statistics Fischer, Maggie No Responsive Records
11/28/2016 RFP Koch, Heidi Records Provided
11/28/2016 Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
11/28/2016 Contracts Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
11/28/2016 Payments Jennings, Chantel No Responsive Records
11/28/2016 Contract Meek, Austin No Responsive Records
11/28/2016 Occupation data Morgan, Willie No Responsive Records
11/28/2016 Financial Records Novy-Williams, Eben Records Provided
11/23/2016 Reports Greif, Andrew Awaiting Payment
11/22/2016 Contracts Drimmer, Bryan Records Provided
11/22/2016 Contracts Drimmer, Bryan Records Provided
11/21/2016 Contract Levine, Jeffrey Records Provided
11/21/2016 Records Hawthorne, Jonathan Requesting/Reviewing Records
11/21/2016 Attrition records Fischer, Maggie No Responsive Records
11/21/2016 Faculty demographic data Alvarado, Karen Requesting/Reviewing Records
11/18/2016 Personnel Appleby, Keith No Responsive Records
11/18/2016 Contract Halliday, Marie Records Provided
11/17/2016 Email Jacoby, Kenneth Records Exempt From Disclosure
11/16/2016 Records Nguyen, Tran Records Exempt From Disclosure
11/16/2016 Records Nguyen, Tran Records Exempt From Disclosure
11/16/2016 Employee Information Theen, Andrew Records Provided
11/15/2016 Report Pitcher, Jack Records Exempt From Disclosure
11/15/2016 Email Theen, Andrew Records Provided
11/15/2016 Title IX complaints Theen, Andrew Requesting/Reviewing Records
11/15/2016 Report Pitcher, Jack Records Exempt From Disclosure
11/11/2016 Contract Johnson, Mark Records Provided
11/10/2016 RFP Kennedy, Phil Records Provided
11/10/2016 Email Jacoby, Kenneth Awaiting Payment
11/10/2016 Contracts Dolisi, Joseph Records Provided
11/09/2016 Stale dated checks London, Jeffrey Records Provided
11/08/2016 Law Documents Harbaugh, Bill Records Provided
11/03/2016 RFP and budget Graziano, Greg Records Provided
11/03/2016 Archives Hawthorne, Jonathan Requesting/Reviewing Records
11/02/2016 Sports camps Berkowitz, Steve Records Provided
11/02/2016 Grade distribution Johnson, Donna Request Withdrawn
11/02/2016 Records Theen, Andrew No Responsive Records
11/02/2016 Audits Thornberry, Max Awaiting Payment
10/31/2016 Documents Lockwood, Kat Records Provided
10/27/2016 RFPs, scoresheets Dunaway, Derek Requesting/Reviewing Records
10/25/2016 Records Parker, Haley Records Provided
10/25/2016 Correspondence Greif, Andrew Awaiting Payment
10/24/2016 Contracts Jacoby, Kenneth Records Provided
10/21/2016 Agreement Thornberry, Max No Responsive Records
10/20/2016 RFP award information Sessa, Jacqueline Request Withdrawn
10/20/2016 Invoices Pitcher, Jack Records Provided
10/20/2016 Meeting Materials Poole, Sabina Request Withdrawn
10/19/2016 RFQs Bhawal, Biplab Records Provided
10/17/2016 Reports Pitcher, Jack Records Provided
10/17/2016 Directory Information Garcia, Miguel Awaiting Payment
10/14/2016 Administrative expenses Stewart, Hannah Awaiting Payment

 

10/14/2016 Contracts Hadar, Roey Records Provided
10/13/2016 Expense Reports Kiley, Zachary Awaiting Payment
10/13/2016 Proposals Pratt, Gwen Records Provided
10/11/2016 Salary Data Kenoyer, Kelly Awaiting Payment
10/07/2016 Reports Nguyen, Tran Records Provided
10/07/2016 Invoices Greer, Jeff Records Provided
10/07/2016 Contract Rudiger, Kevin Records Provided
10/05/2016 Correspondence Blutstein, Allan Awaiting Payment
10/05/2016 Contracts Garfein, Richard Records Provided
10/05/2016 Contracts Kelley, Kevin No Responsive Records
10/05/2016 Directory Information Ho, Anida Awaiting Payment
10/04/2016 Contracts Reed, Tarah Records Provided
09/30/2016 Report Nguyen, Tran Records Exempt From Disclosure
09/30/2016 Outdated Vendor Checks Minotti, Anthony Records Provided
09/30/2016 Correspondence Brown, Matt Records Provided
09/29/2016 Contracts Rogers, Kendall Records Provided
09/29/2016 Grade distribution Campbell, Will Records Provided
09/15/2016 Contract and correspondence Scher, Todd Awaiting Payment
09/15/2016 Email Frisch, Deborah Awaiting Payment
09/12/2016 RFP and budget Lewis, Christian Records Provided
09/08/2016 Real estate documents Frisch, Deborah Awaiting Payment
09/06/2016 Personnel records Capriel, Joanathan No Responsive Records
09/06/2016 Personnel records Frisch, Deborah No Responsive Records
09/06/2016 Responses Theen, Andrew Records Provided
09/02/2016 RFPs, scoresheet Wright, Julia Records Provided
09/02/2016 RFPs, scoresheet Wright, Julia Records Provided
09/01/2016 RFPs, scoresheet Lewis, Christian No Responsive Records
09/01/2016 University purchasing Deleoian, Ken Awaiting Payment
09/01/2016 Payment bond Carpenter, Brent No Responsive Records
08/30/2016 Expenditures Patterson, Craig Request Withdrawn
08/29/2016 Report Nguyen, Tran No Responsive Records
08/26/2016 Records Ackerman, Linda Requesting/Reviewing Records
08/26/2016 Report Nguyen, Tran Records Exempt From Disclosure
08/25/2016 RFPs, scoresheet Lewis, Christian Records Provided
08/24/2016 Contracts Roussel, Pete Records Provided
08/19/2016 Contracts Sessa, Jacqueline Records Provided
08/17/2016 Records Duncan, Andrew Records Provided
08/16/2016 Contracts Greif, Andrew Records Provided
08/10/2016 Contracts Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
08/08/2016 Game Contracts Kelley, Kevin Records Provided

On ThursdayFeb 2, 2017, at 10:42 AM, pubrec@uoregon.edu wrote:

2/2/2017

Hi Professor Harbaugh,

I’m writing to follow up on the email I sent you on 1/24, regarding Kevin Reed’s request for “…all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee”. The full language of the request is below:

 “Please consider this a request, under the Oregon Public Records Law, of all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee.”

As I mentioned previously, all we need is an estimate of how long it will take you (or someone else) to find, gather, and send any responsive records to our office. If someone else will do the work, please send their name so we can form an accurate estimate. There is no need to send any documents at this time; however, if gathering and sending the records will take less than one hour the office asks that you provide the records at your nearest convenience.

Thanks for your assistance, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Lisa

Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the General Counsel
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6207
541-346-6823
pubrec@uoregon.edu

I asked for clarification:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Date: Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:17 AM
To: Kevin Reed
Cc: Public Record Requests
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172

Dear General Counsel Reed – 

Two clarifying questions for you:

1) Does your request for 

 all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee

includes any such communications from my non-UO hosted email accounts, or texts on my personal phone?

2) When you say “any members of the media”, are you including my communications with bloggers, and organizations such as SPLC and FIRE?

Thanks,
Bill Harbaugh, 
Economics Prof & Senate Pres, University of Oregon, http://senate.uoregon.edu

General Counsel Reed clarified and expanded his request:

On FridayFeb 3, 2017, at 3:04 PM, Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Senate President Harbaugh:

In answer to your questions:

1)  I seek all communications concerning or mentioning the STC you made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate (Vice President, President or member or Chair of the STC), regardless of which media or device you sued for your communication.  

2)  No.  I do not believe FIRE or SPLC qualify as “media.”  If it helps in narrowing the search, please feel free to limit my request to communications with reporters, editors or other personnel associated with the Register Guard, the Oregonian, the Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed.

But, given that you have shared that you correspond with FIRE, I will make the additional request under the Oregon Public Records Law:

Please share any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees,  which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.

Kevin S. Reed | Vice President and General Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

219 Johnson Hall | Eugene, OR 97403-1226

(541) 346-3082 | ksreed@uoregon.edu

I sent Reed the documents:

From: UO Senate President <senatepres@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172
Date: February 6, 2017 at 12:26:36 PM PST
To: Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, Chris Sinclair <csinclai@uoregon.edu>, Scott R Maier <smaier@uoregon.edu>, Brent Walth <bwalth@uoregon.edu>, Gina Psaki <gpsaki@gmail.com>, Dianne Dugaw <dugaw@uoregon.edu>

Dear GC Reed – 

The attached folder has the public records you requested. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Harbaugh, Senate President, Economics Professor, University of Oregon

I wrote to Reed and the PRO office, asking that hey correct the log to make clear that I’d sent the documents:

From: UO Senate President [mailto:senatepres@uoregon.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 11:48 AM
To: Lisa Thornton <lthorn@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Fwd: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172

Dear Public Records Officer Thornton – 

I’m writing to ask that you correct the public records log at http://publicrecords.uoregon.edu/content/correspondence-19 which currently reads

Correspondence

Requester: Reed, Kevin

Organization: Private

Initial Request Date: 01/22/2017

Status: Requesting/Reviewing Records

Please consider this a request, under the Oregon Public Records Law, of all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee.

Corrections:

1) As you can see in the emails below, GC Reed made these requests in his official capacity as University of Oregon GC, not as “Private”.

2) As you can see in the emails below, GC Reeds request evolved over time, and I believe the log should show the final actual request.

3) As you can see in the emails below, I have provided the documents that GC requested in that final request, and the log should note this. 

Thanks, 

Bill Harbaugh, Senate President Economics Professor University of Oregon

GC Reed responded by ignoring my point that he had made the requests in his official capacity and doubting I had done this and demanding I explain what exemptions I’d used:

On FridayFeb 17, 2017, at 2:48 PM, Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu> wrote:

PRO Thornton:

Here is what Mr. Harbaugh said about his production on his blog:

“OK, so I might have left out a few emails with reporters.”

Unless he is prepared to describe the exemptions under the Oregon Public Records law on which he relied to withhold responsive emails, and unless you concur that those exemptions justify the withholding,  I think it would be inaccurate to say that he responded to my request.

Should you need any guidance on the interpretation of the PRL as it relates to exemptions, please consult with Doug Park or Bryan Dearinger.

Thank you.

219 Johnson Hall | Eugene, OR 97403-1226

(541) 346-3082 | ksreed@uoregon.edu

generalcounsel.uoregon.edu

I responded to PRO Thornton, explaining that General Counsel Reed was confused:

From: UO Senate President [mailto:senatepres@uoregon.edu]
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2017 4:33 PM
To: Lisa Thornton <lthorn@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172

Dear Ms Thornton:

General Counsel Reed’s PR request, as he clarified it on Feb 3, asked me for

“all communications concerning or mentioning the STC you made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate (Vice President, President or member or Chair of the STC)”

and

“any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees,  which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.”

(emphasis added). As I wrote to him and to you on Feb 14th,

I responded to this on Feb 6th, ccing Thornton, with a folder which I believe contains all the relevant emails. There are no relevant texts.

I am not claiming any exemptions under the PR law. I’m not sure why he thinks my blog comment suggests that I’ve done so, or why he thinks my blog is relevant at all to this request. Please update the Public Records log to reflect that this PR request was made by GC Reed in his official capacity, and that the request has been satisfied.

Thank you,

Bill Harbaugh, Senate President, Economics Professor, University of Oregon

And Ms Thornton promptly and helpfully responded by correcting the log.

She also introducing the novel argument that because UO’s interpretation of state law requires requests come from private citizens, Reed must have been acting as such, even though he used his official UO email and title, etc:

2/20/2017

Professor Harbaugh 

As you know, the office has a long practice of holding that employees of a public body cannot make public records requests of the public body they work for. As such, Mr. Reed’s public records request was made in his capacity as a private citizen, just as your public records requests are make in your capacity as a private citizen, rather than a professor.

Additionally, I specifically asked you to provide responsive records to the office. We ask that you (and anyone providing records responsive to a public records request) do this to ensure the records are responsive, and that information that is exempt from disclosure is not inadvertently provided to the requestor. In reviewing the records you provided Mr. Reed I noted they contained personal contact information, which may be exempt from disclosure. Providing the records to the office, rather than directly to the requestor, would have prevented that information from being released. It is also unusual for the office to have received the records in .PDFs. The office prefers to receive responsive records in their native format, and requests that you provide any future records to the office in their native format.

I appreciate your assertion that you have provided all of the records responsive to Mr. Reed’s requests for “all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee.”, later clarified to “all communications concerning or mentioning the STC you made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate (Vice President, President or member or Chair of the STC)” and defining requested members of the media to be “…communications with reporters, editors or other personnel associated with the Register Guard, the Oregonian, the Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed.”

I also appreciate you advising the office that you have provided all of the records responsive to Mr. Reed’s request for  “any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees,  which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.”

When there is doubt as to whether all records have been provided in response to a request the office makes a practice of confirming with the office or employee who assisted the office that all records were indeed given to the office in response to the request. The office appreciates that you have now confirmed that you have provided the entirety of the records responsive to Mr. Reed’s request, and I will now close this matter.

Sincerely,

Lisa

Lisa Thornton, Public Records Officer

Youtube: Chicago Prof Geoffrey Stone lectures UO Law School on free speech

Is free speech on campus dying?

If so, it’s still kicking. Friday’s engaging talk by Geoffrey Stone from Chicago Law laid out and put to rest the arguments against free speech and academic freedom one by one, then finished them off with his responses to audience questions about the increasing use of hate speech by conservatives, and safe spaces for our increasingly diverse students.

Free Speech on Campus: A Challenge for Our Times

Friday, February 17 at 4:00pm Continue reading

University caves as law faculty threaten Dean with no confidence vote

That would be the Creighton University law faculty. The Omaha World-Herald has the news here:

A professor at Creighton University has agreed to return to the law school today after he was temporarily suspended by the school’s dean.

Kenneth Melilli, who won the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement at Creighton last year, was suspended by the dean of law Wednesday evening, evidently after an argument this month with a senior associate dean of law.

… Letters obtained by The World-Herald show Melilli had support from numerous faculty members who intimated they would push for a vote of no confidence against Paul McGreal, dean of law, and Nicholas Mirkay, associate dean of law.

… A draft of a letter that was expected to go to Interim Provost Thomas Murray was signed last week by 11 tenured faculty members, including Melilli. The letter said law professors passed a motion recently reaffirming that a majority of law faculty members should rule over educational decisions in the law school.

The letter says that McGreal and Mirkay objected and that Melilli and Mirkay later argued over it. The letter says Melilli, a faculty member since 2000, made what was interpreted as a threat against Mirkay. McGreal “unilaterally suspended” Melilli after consulting the university human resources department, “which has no jurisdiction over faculty discipline,” the letter says.

The letter also states that Melilli received no due process and that the way his suspension was handled violated the Creighton Faculty Handbook. The faculty members wrote that only Creighton’s president can suspend a faculty member. Even the president must first consult the academic freedom committee, and the suspension can proceed in this situation “only after a finding that there is a threat of physical harm.”

 

University posts helpful legislative update

That would be Oregon State University. These posts from Jock Mills are getting a little more circumspect given the backroom dealing now going on in Salem, but still pretty interesting:

From: “Mills, Jock” <Jock.Mills@oregonstate.edu>

Subject: [Government_Relations_Update] Salem Update: The first weeks of the 2017 session, Ways & Means roadshow hearings

Date: February 20, 2017 at 8:43:37 AM PST

To: “‘government_relations_update@lists.oregonstate.edu‘” <government_relations_update@lists.oregonstate.edu>

Salem Update

The legislature has completed two and half weeks at a quick pace.  This update provides a progress report on some of the key bills and activities important to OSU and higher education.

Ways & Means Field Hearings

Over the last two weekends, members of the Joint Ways & Means Committee have conducted hearings in Salem, Portland, Hermiston and Madras to enable citizens to address concerns about possible funding reductions associated with the state’s projected $1.8 billion shortfall, as well as ways in which the state could increase revenues to close the budget gap.  We deeply appreciate students and advocates who have testified in support of funding for higher education and OSU programs and encourage you to participate in the remaining hearings this month in Ashland, Eugene, and Tillamook. (See details below.)  Topics relevant to OSU addressed during these hearings have so far included:

  • Support for at least a $100 million increase sought by Oregon’s public universities to achieve a comparable level of funding to the current biennium and needed to avoid unaffordable tuition increases. [See a letter from university leadership across the state in support of the $100 million investment here];
  • Recovery of $9.4 million in budget reductions to the OSU Statewide Public Service Programs – the Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Forest Research Laboratory [Click here for comprehensive information regarding the advocacy effort aimed at SB 805 for the OSU Statewides];
  • Investment of $69.5 million in state bonds to expand the OSU-Cascades campus [Click here for comprehensive information about the expansion of OSU-Cascades]; and
  • Fully funding the Opportunity Grant – the state’s need-based student financial aid program for community college and university students.

Bills of Note

Expansion of the OSU-Cascades Campus (HB 2782)

On Thursday, 2/23, the House Higher Education Committee will consider HB 2782 which will fully fund the $69.5 million expansion of the OSU-Cascades campus as sought by the OSU Board of Trustees.  Advocates from the Central Oregon community will be testifying in support of the bill and meeting with legislators throughout the day.  See information regarding the campus expansion here(OSU support for the full expansion is contingent upon full funding for the capital projects sought by all seven of Oregon’s public universities.)

Statewide Public Service Programs (SB 805)

Despite increasing revenues, the Governor recommended no funding increases for the Oregon State University Statewide Public Service Programs – OSU Extension, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Forest Research Laboratory.  The proposal would erode approximately 70% of the $14 million funding increase achieved by a broad coalition of natural resource, conservation, and human service advocates during the 2015 session.

In response, a bicameral, bipartisan group of legislators has introduced SB 805 which would appropriate a $9.4 million increase for these programs in the 2017-19 biennium to enable them to operate at their continued service level.

See comprehensive information regarding the advocacy effort for the OSU Statewides here.

Open Education Resources (HB 2729)

In 2015 legislators allocated $700K to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to work with universities and colleges to develop open education resources, also known as OERs or “free textbooks.”  Despite the significant savings to students that accrue from developing and dispersing OERs, the HECC chose not to seek continued funding for this program.  Legislators have introduced HB 2729 to continue funding into the 2017-19 biennium, which the House Higher Education Committee will consider on Thursday, 2/23.  At play in considering future funding is the degree to which funding should go to the development of new OERs vs. encouraging faculty at community colleges and universities to use OERs that are already available.  OSU faculty member Lindsay Biga is scheduled to testify on the issue on Thursday.

Veterans Benefits

SB 143:  Using lottery funds made available by Measure 96, which was approved by voters in the November 2016 election, this bill will provide grant funding to universities and community colleges to improve services to veteran-students.  The House and Senate Veterans Committees have both held hearings on the bill and may develop a funding recommendation to be sent to the Joint Ways & Means Committee, which will ultimately consider the bill.

HB 2565:  This bill makes improvements in legislation passed during the 2015 session that established a priority registration process for veterans attending public universities and community colleges.  Universities and veterans worked together over the last year to develop the bill in order to ensure that veterans will receive priority when registering for classes throughout their matriculation, rather than just for the first term of attendance.

Establishment of an Independent Science Board

SB 198:  This bill seeks to enact the recommendations of a task force established by legislation passed during the 2015 session.  On Wednesday 2/22 OSU Associate Dean Dan Edge is slated to testify on the bill before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  The bill involves a biennial expense of approximately $1 million, which may prove problematic for its legislative future. 

PERS Reform

Last week OSU provided information to employees regarding PERS reform legislation.  The Senate Workforce Committee has conducted a number of sessions considering the PERS system.  For a memo outlining its proposed process and a power point overview click here.  The memo outlines the criteria the committee will use to evaluate proposed reforms, including:

  • Constitutionality
  • Order of Magnitude in Savings
  • Actuarial Soundness
  • Impact on Employer Contribution Rates
  • Impact on State and Local Budgets
  • Impact on Public Employee Benefits
  • Impact on Public Employee Workforce
  • Equitability of Costs and Benefits to Public Employees
  • Administrative Feasibility 

Upcoming Events

 

  • Monday, February 20th – Kathie Dello, Associate Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, will present the Third Oregon Climate Assessment Report (2017) to the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee.
  • Wednesday, February 22nd – the House Committee on Economic Development and Trade will hold a “Food Industry Overview” informational hearing, which will feature OSU’s Dave Stone discussing OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland, and College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Dan Arp discussing OSU’s proposed $18 million Quality Food and Beverage capital investment – $9 million in state bonds matched by $9 million in industry and philanthropic investments. Click Here for a recent release regarding a $1.5 million contribution by the Tillamook Creamery Association toward this project.
  • Wednesday, February 22nd – The Office of Economic Analysis will present the next quarterly state revenue forecast to the Senate Revenue Committee. The forecast will indicate whether revenues are on track to support state funding for the current biennium, while also providing legislators with a more current estimate of state revenues for the 2017-19 biennium.  Although the analysis may show marginal changes up or down in state revenues, the structural issues – PERS and Medicaid costs among them – that significant in the forecasted $1.8 billion shortfall for the next biennium are not expected to change significantly.  For access to the forecast when it is released on Wednesday, click here.
  • House Higher Education committee hearings on OSU-Cascades Expansion and OERs (see above).

Remaining Ways & Means Field Hearings

Friday, February 24 — Ashland

5 to 7 p.m.

Rogue River Room

Southern Oregon University

1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland

Saturday, February 25 — Eugene

1 to 3 p.m.

Rooms 308-309 Building 17 (The Forum)

Lane Community College

4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene

Friday, March 3 — Tillamook

6 to 8 p.m.

Officer’s Mess

Port of Tillamook Bay

6825 Officers Row, Tillamook

Upcoming Advocacy Days 

Beaver Caucus Day (Wednesday, March 1)

Head over to the Beaver Caucus website for more about OSU advocates meetings and a reception with legislators in Salem.

OSU Statewides Day (Thursday, March 2)

Advocates from across Oregon will be meeting with legislators throughout the day in support of SB 805, which would recover funding cuts proposed in the Governor’s Recommended Budget for the Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Forest Research Laboratory.

Save the Date:  OSU Day at the Capitol (Thursday, April 20) 

For information about OSU’s Legislative Priorities for 2017: 

http://leadership.oregonstate.edu/sites/leadership.oregonstate.edu/files/trustees/agendas-minutes/tab_w_legislative_update.pdf

Other legislative issues:  We have identified over 600 bills that may be of interest to the OSU community due to impacts on our education, research and outreach mission.  If you would like information regarding a particular bill that may be of interest or if you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jock Mills, Director:  jock.mills@oregonstate.edu

Karli Olsen, Coordinator:  karli.olsen@oregonstate.edu 

See this and other updates at blogs.oregonstate.edu/government.

Law School Dean search: Candidate D, Marcilynn Burke from Houston

Dean of the School of Law

Four candidates for the dean of the School of Law will be on campus to meet with faculty, students, and campus leaders beginning Thursday, February 16. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend the public presentations by each candidate.

The names and background materials for each candidate will be posted three days before the candidate’s visit to campus.

Candidate A: February 16-17 – Mary Anne Bobinski

Professor (7/1/15- present) Allard School of Law University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada

My research and scholarship focus on health law in the United States and Canada. Major fields of interest within health law include public health law, reproductive health law, conflicts of interest in health care and research, and comparative health law. I have taught Torts, Law & Medicine, and Comparative Health Law in the J.D. program and supervised LL.M. and Ph.D. students. During 2015-16, while on administrative leave following the completion of two terms as Dean, I held Visiting Scholar positions at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School (August-September 2015), Sydney Law School (OctoberDecember 2015), and Melbourne Law School (January–March 2016), where I also taught Comparative Health Law (March 2016). From April-August 2016, I was an academic visitor at the Faculty of Law at Oxford University and held a Plumer Visiting Research Fellowship at St. Anne’s College. My current projects include a new edition of Health Care Law & Ethics (Wolters Kluwer, publication expected 2017) and a research project focused on the contested nature of the physician-patient relationship, with a particular focus on legal responses to conflicting values or norms.

Dean and Professor (7/1/03 – 6/30/15) Allard School of Law University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada

Candidate B: February 21-22 – Robert Ahdieh

From his very detailed cover letter:

In important respects, Oregon Law has navigated the crisis in legal education
relatively well. Going forward, in order to build on that achievement, I would encourage the
faculty and broader Law School community to consider and engage two important challenges
the Law School is facing, as well as two potential areas of opportunity.
To begin, I would encourage consideration of how the Law School can further
enhance its scholarly impact and reputation. Here, once again, Oregon Law starts with a good
foundation. Its peer reputation is stronger than its overall rank, and it is – more generally –
seen as a serious and substantial scholarly community. Compared to a number of relevant
peers, however, it has performed relatively less well in citation studies. More generally, I suspect that even its relatively strong peer reputation is not fully reflective of the capacity of
the faculty.

Given its long history of scholarly engagement and place within an AAU-member
public research university, I would cite the foregoing as a critical priority for the Law School.
To address it, I would encourage the faculty to engage in a set of crucial conversations around
how the community can enhance its scholarly impact yet further – including through our
individual efforts as faculty members, but also by way of more effective institutional support
structures and collective encouragement. …

Beyond enhancing scholarly impact, the second challenge I would emphasize – for the
entire Law School community, of faculty, staff, and alumni as well – is the need for improved
placement of Oregon Law’s graduates. Many factors impact the employment rate, of course,
and the employment landscape remains challenging for all schools. But some meaningful lag
behind its peers in employment both at graduation and ten months after graduation puts the
Law School at a significant competitive disadvantage, and disserves our graduates and
alumni. …

Candidate C: February 23-24: Norman Williams, Willamette

He blames the press, not the lack of jobs for lawyers, for falling enrollment:

… More generally, the next Dean must articulate and communicate a vibrant picture of the work of Oregon and a compelling vision of its future. As noted above, legal education has been the subject of sustained criticism in the popular press and elsewhere in recent years; disparaging the work of law schools, it seems, has become something of a journalistic sport. This relentlessly negative press has contributed to the decline in applications to law schools, and it has made the task of fundraising more difficult by portraying legal education as an unwise investment. The next Dean of Oregon must therefore work to rebut this negative conception of legal education and engage the various outside constituencies — alumni, judges, state and local government officials, bar association officers, and business leaders – so that they understand and appreciate the valuable and necessary work undertaken by Oregon. I believe fervently in the mission of the modern law school, and both Oregon’s commitment to producing lawyers dedicated to professional excellence and its ongoing work to adapt its program of legal education to the needs of our technologically-sophisticated economy and socially diverse society are stories that can and should be proudly told. …

Candidate D: February 27-28 – Marcilynn Burke, University of Houston

From her letter:

Sustainable Funding

In addition to helping run the day-to-day operations of UHLC, I am working on several strategic
initiatives, including those to enhance our centers and institutes, as well as our LL.M. degree
programs. We recently began a “3+3” program with our Honors College and are investigating
non-degree granting programs as well. As the dean, I would work to help ensure the success of
Oregon Law’s program with the Robert D. Clark Honors College. I would also work with faculty
and staff to continue the success of the LL.M. programs, as recognized by National Jurist, and
explore the desirability of expanding the LL.M. program in areas of existing strengths. I would
also work to sustain and create robust joint degree opportunities for the students, and support
collaborations with other schools such as the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business; the School
of Architecture & Allied Arts; the School of Journalism and Communications; and the highly
ranked College of Education. I also would welcome the opportunity to explore online options at
the School of Law, as we are currently doing at UHLC.

At UHLC during my tenure as a co-director of the Center for Environmental, Energy and Natural
Resources Law, I began to work actively with the development staff to renew previous financial
commitments and attract new ones. My experience in establishing and building upon relationships
with a host of different stakeholders can only help propel the School of Law’s growth in its donor
base and achievement of its fundraising goals. As dean of Oregon Law, I would work with the
professional staff to develop a communications plan that presents a powerful, LawPOSITIVE, and
coherent image that makes a compelling case for support by key constituencies. Working with the
development team, I am equipped to help the School of Law build upon its recent success in
gaining philanthropic support for the Dave Frohnmayer Leadership Fund and the Legal Research
and Writing Program and meet its goals as part of the University’s current comprehensive
campaign.

SEARCH COMMITTEE

SEARCH FIRM

Fans lose interest, Dana Altman can’t match Mac Court attendance from 1977

Steve Mims has the news in the RG here:

Oregon drew an average of 7,467 fans last year, but that number will rise to 9,895 this season after another full house of 12,364 shows up for the home finale. That is the largest average attendance since 9,984 watched at McArthur Court in 1977-78.

In those 40 years UO enrollment has increased from 16,000 to 24,000, the Lane county population has increased from 250,000 to 370,000, and UO went heavily into debt to replace Mac Court with a huge gaudy new arena that the fans hate. The Ducks have had to cut ticket prices and – horror of horrors – give away tickets to faculty and staff even to get to this attendance number. See “Price elasticity remains top threat to Duck Athletics, followed by the NCAA and professors“. Meanwhile AAD Eric Roedl tried to squeeze our students for another 4% increase in the $1.8M they pay for for “free” tickets, but ASUO just told him no.

Econ grad gives UO $5M for PhD students

Around the O has the excellent news here:

“This terrific support from Steve Raymund, one of our most innovative and successful alumni, will have an immediate effect,” said Michael H. Schill, UO president and professor of law. “We are inspired by his confidence in our mission and grateful for his personal involvement in realizing our vision for the university.”  Raymund, a 1978 economics graduate, will become UO Foundation chair this fall. “I want to help boost the university’s overall excellence,” Raymund said. “More than ever, the university is in charge of its own fate. When you believe in the management, you want to fund their vision.”  Over time, the gift will provide $4.5 million to support doctoral students in every academic department. Schill said the entering class of 11 Raymund Fellows arrive this fall.  “Steve is answering a critical need with this gift, because a strong Ph.D. program is one of the key components to being a research university,” Schill said. “We compete head-to-head for these students with our AAU peers like Berkeley and Chicago. We’re increasing the size of our faculty, and we will need to bring on great doctoral students for each professor that we hire.”

Chronicle of Higher Ed asks why UO’s General Counsel wants faculty emails

2/15/2017 update:

Here (gated if off campus). A snippet:

The dust-up at the university began in November when Kenneth Jacoby, a reporter for the Daily Emerald student newspaper, filed two public-records requests for emails exchanged between several coaches and officials associated with the football team. Mr. Jacoby asked for fee waivers for both requests based on his belief that the records were in the public interest.

Nearly three weeks later, he was told it would cost over $700 to fulfill his request. He then got in touch with Mr. Harbaugh and in December filed a complaint over the cost with the Transparency Committee, which was established in 2010 to review university procedures for processing and fulfilling public-records requests.

In an email to the committee on January 22, Mr. Harbaugh told members that they would be hearing Mr. Jacoby’s complaint the following day and discussing a response. The email, which was obtained by The Chronicle, included an attachment with Mr. Jacoby’s complaint letter.

Mr. Harbaugh, a transparency advocate, files significant numbers of public-records requests in most years. In fact, according to the public-records office, he files more requests than any media outlet. The professor operates a blog, UOMatters, aimed at uncovering misdeeds at the university. In a 2015 profile by The Chronicle, Mr. Harbaugh said he hopes to make the university a “better place” through his transparency activities.

Mr. Reed, however, said in an interview that he began to fear that the Transparency Committee was not, itself, being transparent, and that he was concerned about conversations he was being excluded from.

So he filed a formal request for Mr. Harbaugh’s emails regarding the Senate Transparency Committee that evening, including those sent to media outlets. Mr. Reed specifically asked for emails sent to The Register-Guard, The Oregonian, the Oregon Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed. …

In related news, GC Reed’s report on the Duck Athletic Department’s alleged efforts to stifle free speech by threatening to take away Jacoby’s press pass should be out in a week or two.

Note: Just to be clear, I turned over all the emails that were covered by GC Kevin Reed’s request, and I did so at no charge to him. I’m still hoping he’ll take the high road w.r.t. our student-journalists public records request’s, someday. A university that spends millions of dollars on public relations ought to be able to find a few thousand for public records.

2/8/2017: UO Pres Mike Schill’s lawyer wants to read professor’s emails with reporters

UO general counsel Kevin Reed is apparently the first university lawyer in US history – not just UO history – to use the public records laws to get a professor’s emails with reporters and free speech and academic freedom advocacy groups such as FIRE and SPLC.

Full disclosure, I am the professor that Mr. Reed is after. The Register Guard’s Diane Dietz has the story here:

The University of ­Oregon’s top lawyer is using public ­records law to get a professor’s emails to and from reporters and editors of The Register-­Guard, The ­Oregonian, the ­Oregon Daily ­Emerald, The ­Chronicle of Higher ­Education and Inside Higher Ed.

The lawyer, UO General Counsel Kevin Reed, sought any emails exchanged with those publications related to the University Senate’s transparency committee during the past year.

Read it all.

Here are some emails about this, starting with General Counsel Reed’s request:

From: Kevin S Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Transparency Committee meeting, Monday 10AM, 412PLC
Date: January 22, 2017 at 8:52:29 PM PST
To: Senate President <senatepres@uoregon.edu>, Chris D Sinclair <csinclai@uoregon.edu>, Brent D Walth <bwalth@uoregon.edu>, Zane A Karimi <zkarimi@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Julia S Cohalan <jcohalan@uoregon.edu>, Kenny Jacoby <kjacoby@dailyemerald.com>, Greg J Stripp <stripp@uoregon.edu>

I will be at the meeting, but note the following:

I was unaware that Prof. Harbaugh was elected chair by email. I am unaware of any such vote taking place, though I was under the impression I am a member of this committee. This follows what appears to have been my exclusion from communication in recent weeks concerning Mr. Jacoby’s complaint regarding the PRO’s decision to follow its policy and not waive fees in responding to a request from the Emerald for student records. I understood that I was a non-voting member of the STC. It seems clear, though, that I am being left out of communications involving the core of the committee’s work. This scarcely seems consistent with the “transparency” part of the committee’s title. If I am not to be included in the communications of the committee, I decline to participate as a member.

Please consider this a request, under the Oregon Public Records Law, of all communications made in in the past 12 months, between the current chair of the Senate Transparency Committee and members of the committee concerning the business of this committee, as well as all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee.

I will excuse myself from any discussion by the committee regarding an expansion of the fee waiver policy, due to my belief that a discussion of the subject involving the Committee chair would involve a potential conflict of interest. Prof. Harbaugh was the most frequent requester of public records in the year just ended, and amongst those most frequently to withdraw his request for records when presented with the estimate of the costs associated with the production of those records. Since any action by the committee to demand a change in the PRO policies on fees and fee waivers, if adopted, would have direct financial impact on Prof. Harbaugh, I believe it would be a conflict of interest for him to participate in such a decision. Given Prof. Harbaugh’s participation in the matter thus far, I will refrain from participating in any discussion on the subject in the meeting unless he recuses himself, in order to avoid any appearance that I condone this conflict.

I have attached the Public Record’s Office’s SOPs, setting forth its approach to fee waivers, for the committee’s information. It is unclear to me why the committee would be asked to “make recommendations” regarding the PRO’s balanced approach to fee waivers without presenting the committee with the actual policies implemented by the PRO. So, here they are.

4. I believe the complaint presented by Mr. Jacoby is moot. In his complaint, Mr. Jacoby makes clear  that he seeks records relating to specific, identifiable students at the university. Since this “targeted” request seeks educational records of students who are identified, or are identifiable
within the context of the records and the request, his request has been denied, and any request for fees is now mooted, a decision communicated to him last week. Any records are educational records of identifiable UO students and cannot be released without their consent. The Emerald is no longer being asked to pay fees for the responsive records, since there are no responsive records that can be produced without violating the federally protected rights to privacy of the students involved.

My response:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Date: Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:17 AM
To: Kevin Reed
Cc: Public Record Requests
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172

Dear General Counsel Reed –

Two clarifying questions for you:

1) Does your request for
all communications between the Chair of the STC and any members of the media concerning or mentioning the committee
includes any such communications from my non-UO hosted email accounts, or texts on my personal phone?

2) When you say “any members of the media”, are you including my communications with bloggers, and organizations such as SPLC and FIRE?

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
Economics Prof & Senate Pres
University of Oregon
http://senate.uoregon.edu

Reed’s response:

From: Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Public Records – Request for Documents 2017-PRR-172
Date: February 3, 2017 at 3:04:14 PM PST
To: William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Public Record Requests <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Senate President Harbaugh:

In answer to your questions:

1) I seek all communications concerning or mentioning the STC you made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate (Vice President, President or member or Chair of the STC), regardless of which media or device you sued for your communication.
2) No. I do not believe FIRE or SPLC qualify as “media.” If it helps in narrowing the search, please feel free to limit my request to communications with reporters, editors or other personnel associated with the Register Guard, the Oregonian, the Daily Emerald, The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed.

But, given that you have shared that you correspond with FIRE, I will make the additional request under the Oregon Public Records Law:

Please share any communications you have had with persons associated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in the past 12 months, made in your capacity as an officer of the University Senate or member of any of its committees, which communications relate to or concern freedom of speech or academic freedom at the University of Oregon.

Kevin S. Reed | Vice President and General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel
219 Johnson Hall | Eugene, OR 97403-1226
(541) 346-3082 | ksreed@uoregon.edu