A message from CAS Dean Marcus on vision and faculty hiring

Update: Apparently many readers are too busy trying to improve their metrics to read the details of the Dean’s message below, much less act on them. So here’s a visual with the key words you should throw in when drafting IHP proposals or presenting to the Board of Trustees. Thanks to Academic Analytics for the inspiration:

1/25/2018: Since UOM has a considerably more diverse and engaged readership and a more liberal comment policy than the CAS Dean’s blog (no comments allowed, signed or unsigned), I’m pasting his latest message below starting with our new vision statement:


The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon will be a leader among public research universities in preparing students for lifetime success, by:

• Reinventing advising and undergraduate curricula to dramatically improve both academic and career success;

• Rewarding and recruiting faculty who:

1) are excellent scholars seeking solutions to the major social and scientific needs of our time,

2) advance our curriculum, and

3) model for students the modern collaborative workplace.

Our vision derives from and aligns with the ambitious goals the President and Provost have set for excellence, access and experience at the University of Oregon. The College of Arts and Sciences is particularly well poised to advance these UO-wide goals by building on our long-term and recent accomplishments. Over many decades CAS has established a record of faculty-led interdisciplinary, collaborative endeavors targeted toward serving the public good, a record that already distinguishes us among major public universities. And, in recent years, the college has gained tremendous momentum by:

• Developing plans for dramatic changes in student advising throughout the liberal arts

• Raising $34 million toward a total of $39 million for a donor- and State-funded campus hub for integrated career/academic advising

• Working to revitalize student interest in language study and the humanities • Initiating and completing major science lab improvements across the natural sciences

• Collaborating with university leadership to launch the Knight Campus to accelerate scientific impact, an idea proposed by CAS faculty

• Undertaking the most ambitious faculty hiring program in our history

We are poised to undertake a once-in-a-generation transformation. Over the next few years, the College of Arts and Sciences will usher in the next generation of faculty, dedicate new resources to its existing faculty that spur innovation, and profoundly reimagine curricula and advising in ways that will determine the future of the UO for decades to come.


To achieve its vision, the College will pursue three strategies:

1) Increase the relevance of both advising and curricula to dramatically improve both academic and career success,

2) Target faculty hiring to bring in the next generation of faculty who will create nodes of collaborative faculty excellence that will advance the UO’s reputation as a center of research, addressing the critical social issues of our time, while also mentoring our students ,and bringing fresh ideas to renew our curricula, and

3) Significantly increase incentives for faculty and staff to pursue research breakthroughs, curricular and advising innovations, and diversity initiatives that underscore our national leadership and attract new cohorts of top-performing faculty and students. Strategy 1—Reimagining Student Advising and Curriculum UO students want to do well—and do good. They feel intense pressure to make the best use of family resources, succeed in their studies, graduate on time, and get jobs (do well); at the same time, UO students are also characterized by a passion for effecting positive change in the world (doing good). The faculty and staff in CAS will address—and are already addressing—the needs and desires of the modern student by rethinking how we advise, teach, and engage students. By reimagining both advising and curriculum, we will create pathways that guide students toward meaningful and achievable goals while building foundational skills for a rapidly changing world. Students will be able to envision how the core goals of a liberal arts education—critical reasoning, effective communication, collaborative problem solving, and a rich understanding of our complex world—can help them achieve their aspirations.

Specific measures include:

• Envisioning the future of Tykeson Hall and its advising programs. Tykeson Hall ushers in a new era of advising, guiding students to build portfolios of in-demand skills and develop the agility to adapt to the future.

• Rethinking curriculum requirements and pathways. Today’s students want to pursue solutions to pressing social challenges while also developing skills that prepare them for the workplace. This requires curriculum that emphasizes the multiple perspectives necessary to understand—and succeed in—our increasingly diverse and global world. CAS is already incentivizing faculty and departments to revise curricula and identify degree pathways—and will increase these incentives in the future.

• Revitalizing language learning. CAS faculty are already working to revitalize language studies through innovative pedagogies, curricular revisions, a greater range of study abroad options, online courses, and new partnerships with the schools of business and journalism.

• Expanding venues for learning. The college will continue to expand the range of venues for student learning, ranging from online programs to more extensive internship opportunities to classes and workshops offered at locations other than the Eugene campus.

Strategy 2—Hiring the Next Generation of Faculty Hiring priorities will continue to emphasize recruiting superior scholars who will work collaboratively to solve the pressing social and scientific issues of our time, substantially advance the UO’s national research profile, and provide exceptional mentoring for our students. Targeted hiring of new tenure track faculty also is a powerful mechanism for accelerating a reimagined curriculum; a new wave of faculty will bring in fresh ideas and new approaches. Already well underway, this hiring campaign will result in a turnover of approximately a 40% in faculty positions over just a few years, allowing CAS to pivot in new directions across the entire college. Faculty hiring will emphasize:

• Achieving national prominence: College hiring will focus on building critical mass in fields and subfields that are poised to achieve national and international prominence.

• Maximizing the social and scientific impact of research: CAS will recruit individuals who will work collaboratively to develop solutions that address the major issues of our time.

Strategy 3—Incentivizing Cross Disciplinary Scholarship and Innovation in Student Learning Continually reinvigorating our teaching and research enterprise is essential to achieving national recognition—and attracting the highest-caliber faculty and students. CAS leadership is already offering increased funds—and is actively pursuing further fundraising—to incentivize current faculty and staff to propose high-impact opportunities that advance our leadership in the following areas:

• Curricular innovations

• Advising innovations

• Diversity initiatives

• Research that addresses societal needs

• Creative collaborations that cross disciplinary boundaries to establish novel approaches to research problems

Blog post CAS Dean Andrew Marcus:

Earlier this month, I sent a note to all CAS heads outlining the process for requesting tenure track searches in AY18-19 as part of the Provost-led Institutional Hiring Plan (IHP). To give you further context for hiring priorities, I want to share the evolving CAS vision document that I and others have been developing for the college since last July (download the vision statement).

This vision, which I have discussed previously with department heads, the Senate, campus leadership, and our CAS Advisory Board, establishes a framework for priority-setting for the next several years. Among its many uses, I hope this document helps you think strategically about your requests for tenure track lines for your departments or your clusters.

As you will see, the vision strongly emphasizes the idea that, in addition to individual discipline-based faculty lines, we should work to create nodes of collaborative faculty excellence that address pressing social and scientific needs of our time—and also speak powerfully to student academic and career interests. Successful hiring proposals will be distinguished by their support of one or more of these priorities.

But beyond the IHP, I hope our vision prompts even deeper college-wide conversations about how to improve the student experience and how departments want to direct their research agendas. I am very hopeful that this plan will engage the CAS community, because itrelies on CAS faculty and staff to bring their best ideas forward to help shape the future of our collective success.

In fact, I believe we are on the verge of a once-in-a-generation transformation. In the 1960s and 70s, higher education was reimagined by a new wave of faculty and a profound critique and reinvention of curriculum. It is increasingly clear that we are in the midst of a similar sea change; our vision for CAS is designed to shape the future of the UO for decades to come—relying on the imagination and leadership of our faculty to create the forward-thinking research and teaching initiatives that will define us.

Why a Vision? Why Now?

Why develop and share a vision statement now? It was helpful to have a prompt from my new boss: One of the first things our new provost, Jayanth Banavar, did when he arrived last summer was ask all of the deans to create a vision for their colleges. Recognizing that vision statements are a dime a dozen in higher education (and often go on for 100 pages, aspiring to do everything under the sun), the CAS deans undertook to craft a concise, relevant statement for our college that builds on our strengths and our potential for capitalizing on those strengths.

First and foremost, we recognized that we have many assets to build from:

  • The quality of our existing faculty, their commitment to excellence, and their longtime track record of collaborative endeavor
  • Major initiatives undertaken over the past four years, which have included:
    • The most aggressive tenure track faculty hiring program in the history of CAS
    • A first-ever college-wide Diversity Action Plan
    • The largest development campaign in our history
    • An ongoing rethinking of programs for student advising
    • Launching the design and construction of Tykeson Hall, a building designed for student success, scheduled to open in Fall 2019
    • Major science lab improvements
    • Efforts to revitalize student interest in our languages and humanities
    • And many, many more efforts ranging from individual activities to the college-wide development of personnel and management systems.

Proceeding from this baseline of strength, I originally thought the best approach to producing a vision for the provost would be to ask the divisional deans (Karen Ford, Hal Sadofsky and Phil Scher) to write separate plans for the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, respectively. Each of them delivered a well-considered divisional plan, but we soon realized that we needed a cohesive, simplified vision that unites the entire college. Accordingly, we distilled the many aspirations for our divisions into two main college-wide goals:

The UO College of Arts and Sciences will be a leader among public research universities in preparing students for lifetime success, by:

  • Reinventing both advising and undergraduate curriculum to dramatically improve both academic and career success;
  • Rewarding and recruiting faculty who 1) pursue solutions to social and scientific needs, 2) advance our curriculum, and 3) model for students the modern collaborative workplace.

You will notice these goals foreground student success, which is intentional. We must articulate our vision to many constituents besides ourselves—prospective and current students, parents, alumni, donors, etc.—and framing academics, advising and research in terms of student benefit is designed to help the rest of the world embrace our collective purpose: to help students “do well” as they pursue their passion for “doing good.” (More on this later.)

Student-Centered, Faculty Led

As the vision statement makes clear: we aspire to be student-centered in the context of being faculty-led. Faculty are the engines of both research and educational excellence, and our goals for attaining national leadership must focus on initiatives that engage, support, and build our faculty. As you know, President Schill aims to advance our AAU status by increasing our numbers of research faculty, many of whom will be in CAS. Concurrently, dozens of CAS faculty retirements are taking place, allowing us to realign our hiring priorities to emphasize major social and scientific issues. In 2017, there was a 9% turnover in CAS faculty; we will have a similar turnover in this year, perhaps a total of 40% in a matter of just a few years.

We will call upon—and reward—both current and future faculty to propose bold new research agendas, reinvent the curriculum, and reimagine their deep involvement with our students through their research, their classroom activities, and their role as advisors and mentors. Our success will depend on our faculty joining together in an energized intellectual community that embodies the Oregon spirit and our long-term commitment to the ideals of public education.

Along with our necessary emphasis on faculty, we must also focus on our staff, who play an essential role in realizing our vision. Our staff are leaders in student advising, personnel management, diversity innovations, and the development of management solutions that support all our daily operations.

Do Well, Do Good

Together, all of our activities are in service of guiding future generations to “do well and do good.” One of the abiding characteristics of UO undergraduates is their earnest desire to make a positive difference in the world (do good). At the same time, today’s students also feel intense pressure to graduate on time, succeed academically, and make the best use of family resources (do well). They worry about their future job prospects in a world that is evolving at dizzying speed.

It is our obligation to help students both do well and do good. The vision helps guide our efforts in this regard. Collectively, we will accomplish this through:

  • Modernizing our advising and curricula to directly address the aspirations and needs of the modern student,
  • Rewarding and recruiting faculty who specialize in areas of highest relevance to today’s society and our students,
  • Promoting team approaches to problem-solving, and
  • Demonstrating to students the relevance of skills acquired throughout the liberal arts—not only in their own fields but also in collaboration with colleagues across disciplines (thus learning from their faculty mentors how to navigate the increasingly permeable boundaries of today’s workplace).

This vision and the objectives we will pursue to attain it will, by their very definition, evolve. This is a process vision, not a fixed vision. The goals we set and the measures we follow will be informed by the evolving expertise and opinions of our faculty and staff, the changing issues of our time, and—most critically—the changing needs and skill sets of our students.

I encourage you to join me in helping to bring this vision to life for our students and our entire community. We are at a pivotal moment, with a profound opportunity to transform our curriculum and research profile to serve future generations in imaginative new ways.

In the near-term, you are invited to participate in this vision and crafting our future through the many collaborative efforts already underway, including: the Institutional Hiring Plan process, the college- and university-wide Tykeson working groups, the many planning committees at work in venues ranging from University Senate Committees to the Knight Campus Advisory Board to our department-level diversity committees and curricular planning groups. The decisions made in these settings help launch us on our new trajectory; now is the time to be engaged.

Andrew Marcus
Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Club to unveil official portrait of President Schill this Wed.

Update: The Sundaram Tagore film on “Louis Kahn’s Tiger City” will be on Feb 22nd, not this Th. Also some people are reporting that the equestrian painting below is actually of Provost Banavar, and that Pres Schill’s portrait has already been put in Johnson Hall next to the painting honoring the work of his predecessors Coltrane, Gottfredson, and Berdahl here:

1/23/2018: Rumor down at the faculty club is that the Faculty Club will reopen this Wednesday, 5-8PM.

Apparently local artist Lynda Lanker has completed her official portrait of President Schill, and it will be unveiled sometime around 6PM, after a toast. Not to spoil the surprise, but GC Reed provided this (redacted) photo in response to a public records request:

However, I should note that the official Faculty Club announcement is somewhat more circumspect about the agenda:

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club reopens this week, with open hours on Wednesday (5:00–8:00 pm) and Thursday (5:00-8:00 pm).  Come and finally celebrate the New Year with colleagues, and enjoy the new catering (we’ve now replaced University Catering with Marché).

Wednesday’s Six o’Clock Toast, from the Faculty Club president, will hail familiar faces while also welcoming new ones.  Thursday’s toast will be delivered by Nicole Giuliani of the Psychology Department, which is hosting a group of Ph.D. candidates in our adjacent “behind the curtain” space.   Also on Feb 22nd [note corrected date] we’ll have Calcutta-born filmmaker (and UO Architecture grad) Sundaram Tagore among us, hobnobbing before the 7:00 screening of his new film on “Louis Kahn’s Tiger City” in the Schnitzer Cinema series.

If you would like to consider reserving the “behind the curtain” space (or the corner table) for a group of your own, please let me know.  And as Search Committee season is upon us, departments should consider bringing your job candidates over to mingle—there’s nothing more heartening for a candidate than the sight of a cheerful faculty who seem to enjoy each other’s company, and that’s what we deliver evening after evening!

Hope to see you (and any guests you’d like to bring along) Wednesday or Thursday, or both!

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board


WHO: The UO Faculty Club is open to all UO statutory faculty—tenure-track faculty, career non-tenure-track faculty, and OAs tenured in an academic department, as well as people retired from positions in these categories.  Eligible people may bring anyone they like as guests.

WHAT: Cash Bar with beer, wine, liquor and non-alcoholic beverages; complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

WHERE: The Faculty Club meets in a designated room on the ground floor of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.  Enter at the museum’s main entrance and turn right; the club room is right off the lobby.

WHEN: Wednesdays 5:00-8:00 pm; Thursdays 5:00-8:00 pm, from January 24 through the end of the Winter Term.


Big raise for Terry Hunt at Arizona HC fuels gender disc lawsuit

The news from Tucson:

Ex-UA dean files $2M pay equality lawsuit against Regents; provost resigns

… According to the lawsuit, Patricia MacCorquodale, who has worked at the UA since 1978 and was dean of the school’s Honors College for almost 25 years, was “dramatically underpaid” — sometimes as much as $100,000 — compared to other male deans including her less-experienced successors.

She attributed the pay disparity at the school to Provost Andrew Comrie, and his predecessors who have the power to appoint deans and settle their salaries.

Also Monday, the university announced that Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, was resigning from that position and returning full-time to the faculty.

… After announcing her intent to step down in June 2017, she alleges that she was pushed out of the position a year early by Comrie in retaliation.

Elliott Cheu, former associate dean of the College of Science since 2008 was appointed interim dean in her place. He made $100,000 more a year than she did in her last and 17th year in the position, the lawsuit said. She also found that he made more as an assistant dean than she did as the dean of the Honors College. In 2017, the university announced that Terry Hunt, dean of the University of Oregon’s Honors College, was the new UA Honors dean. The lawsuit said the school is paying Hunt $230,000, nearly $70,000 more than MacCorquodale earned as dean. …

Since the UA faculty have no union, their administration can’t use the “blame it on the union” argument, as UO is trying to do in the Freyd lawsuit:

So presumably the UA lawyers will fall back on the argument that if she really wanted a raise she should have got her buddies at another school to make her an outside offer, like the good old boys do.

Trumpian attacks on higher ed felt in Oregon by Pres Schill

Long-time Oregonian journalist David Sarasohn:

It’s clear, as we mark the one-year mark of the Donald Trump show, that the Official Dislike list includes immigrants, many of the countries they come from, corporate taxes and reporters who ask annoying questions.

But there is also a clear dislike, and multiple moves against, the nation’s higher education institutions, part of what The Atlantic calls “The Republican War on College.”

This regime is deeply suspicious of people who think they know something.

Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon, calls the situation “alarming,” noting that “We are getting a message from some members of Congress and the president that’s hostile to higher education.” …

Has assessment improved learning?

I’ve been hearing a lot about assessment of learning outcomes lately. The Chronicle has a skeptical story about this stuff, here:

… Because it’s fairly obvious that assessment has not caused (and probably will not cause) positive changes in student learning, and because it’s clear that this has been an open secret for a while, one wonders why academic administrators have been so acquiescent about assessment for so long.

Here’s why: It’s no accident that the rise of learning-outcomes assessment has coincided with a significant expansion in the use of adjunct faculty, the growth of dual enrollment, and the spread of online education. Each of these allows administrators to deliver educational product to their customers with little or no involvement from the traditional faculty.

Bach bounces back from Lintgate?

I received this email last night – cleverly sent out just after Bob Keefer’s EW deadline:

From: Oregon Bach Festival <bachfest@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Announcing OBF 2018
Date: January 17, 2018 at 7:45:05 PM PST
Reply-To: bachfest@uoregon.edu

OBF is pleased to announce the 2018 lineup of concerts, community programs, and social events! This summer, you can experience an all-Bach opening concert in Silva Concert Hall, three Bach cantatas, five Brandenburg concertos, an all-Mozart concert, the world premiere of The Passion of Yeshua from Grammy-nominated composer Richard Danielpour, a new piano concerto by Philip Glass, The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, and so much more. Plus, due to last year’s overwhelming popularity, we will once again present our “Inside the Music” insight brunch — focused on Mendelssohn’s Elijah — and the “Serenade” wine excursion — a celebratory interweaving of regional wines and kindred music featuring Iris Vineyards. We hope you’ll join us for a spectacular 2018.

Premier Tickets On Sale: February 1
Friends of the Festival Exclusive Presale: March 21 – April 27
Public On Sale: May 3

Apparently someone in Strategic Communications has finally learned something about manipulating the press. And sure enough, the RG had a puff piece posted 90 minutes before the email went out, headlined “Oregon Bach Festival announces its 2018 lineup, featuring premieres, classics and renowned musicians“.

More details on the 2018 schedule are here.

It’s unclear if this means the festival has resolved the longstanding financial issues which apparently precipitated the events leading to the firing of Matthew Halls, but a quick glance at the budget suggests that it has not, and that UO’s academic side will continue to fork over $600K or so per year in subsidies to indulge those with a particular preference for the music of Mr. Bach and his ilk:

Cheap in comparison to what we have to pay for Rob Mullens’ Ducks – but then the OBF sells even fewer tickets than Dana Altman.

UO to replace Hayward Field with bigly 30k seat stadium for IAAF

A teardown seems a bit extreme. I wonder what sort of city approval this will require. Ken Goe has the report in the Oregonian:

An IAAF team has been in Portland and Eugene this week to discuss preparations for the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The championships are more than three years away. But there are unresolved issues, such as repeated delays to required renovations of Hayward Field, and a reported FBI investigation into how the championships were awarded. …

The IAAF minimum capacity for a stadium hosting the world championships is 30,000.

Original plans called for an extensive renovation to begin immediately after the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials. It was expected to take two years with a pause late in the spring of 2017 to allow Hayward to stage the Prefontaine Classic, the Oregon state high school championships and the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

But the work has been delayed several times and has not yet begun. Sources say the original plan, which preserved the iconic east side of the stadium, has been scrapped.

The stadium project now is expected to be a complete teardown and rebuild under the direction of Howard Slusher, a longtime adviser to Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Knight is said to be a large contributor to the project. Slusher has supervised other building projects for Knight and Nike.

Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation, said Wednesday he expects the project to begin this summer, and for the plans to become public early this spring.

“We’re doing it, and it’s going to be ready,” Weinhold said. …

Big-time college sports are the “21st century Jim Crow”

The Chronicle reports on the recent LA Times Op-Ed:

College athletics, wrote Victoria Jackson in an explosive op-ed for the Los Angeles Times  on Thursday, are the “21st century Jim Crow.”

Ms. Jackson, a sports historian at Arizona State University, drew from her scholarly research and from her own experience as a Division I track-and field-athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She describes a stark divide between two classes of athletes — those who have academic lives outside their sports, and those who must dedicate their time to entirely to athletics, robbed of the opportunity to learn alongside other students. “This divide,” she wrote, “correlates with race.”

“Nonrevenue athletes are mostly white, while revenue-sport athletes are disproportionately black,” Ms. Jackson wrote. “This college sports system contributes to the undervaluing of black lives in American society and our institutions. The predominantly white privilege of playing college sports while earning a quality degree comes at the expense of — is literally paid for by — the educationally unequal experiences of mostly black football and basketball players.” …

Read it all.

UO Senate to meet on articulation, expedition, denunciation

My priors are yes, yes, yes, but I’m open to debate and amendment. Live feed here:


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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
  • Update from Johnson Hall

3:30 P.M. Approval of Minutes, November 29, 2017

3:35 P.M.   Business

4:50 P.M.   Open Discussion
4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:50 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion

  • Committee Clean-up (re-stagger)
  • CORE Ed Council

4:50 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Gov’t Relations Office update on funding, tuition increases, etc.

That would be Oregon State University’s Jock Mills and his ever helpful Government Affairs Office. I have no idea what UO’s lobbyists think. Does anyone?

2018 Short Session Preview

This update provides a brief preview of the 2018 legislative session including appropriations and policy bills.The 2018 legislature will convene on Monday, February 5. Under the state constitution it is scheduled to adjourn no later than Sunday, March 11. The process will run at a rapid pace with little or no time for missteps or opportunities for amendments. Bills must be scheduled for a hearing by the fifth day of the session, and they must be approved by the committee to which they have been referred no later than four working days later – Thursday, February 15. In comparison, during the long sessions, committees have over two months to consider bills before referring them to the floor for consideration. One benefit of the short fuse is that the number of bills that must be tracked quickly becomes manageable.

Legislative Appropriations

Budgetary issues will be addressed in a single omnibus appropriation bill that is not subject to the committee schedule. The contents of the appropriation bill will, however, be subject to the January 23rd special election when voters will determine the fate of Measure 101 which would affirm the legislature’s decision during the 2017 session to enact “temporary assessments to fund health care for low-income individuals and families, and to stabilize health insurance premiums.” If voters reject the measure, the legislature will need to re-balance the state budget to account for a $200-300 million shortfall that would result.

Legislators have yet to fully understand how changes in the federal tax code will affect state revenues since Oregon’s tax structure is connected to federal provisions that have changed. The House and Senate Committees considered that matter last week and remain uncertain about whether the Federal revisions will add to, or reduce, state revenues. A preliminary analysis indicates state corporate and individual tax revenues may fall by about $100 million. Even if fully understood, the legislature will only be able to change the impact of the federal provisions on state revenues for the second year of the biennium, if they can affect the impact at all. More will be known about state revenues when the State Economist issues his quarterly forecast Tuesday, January 16 (today).

OSU is pursuing two provisions for inclusion in the omnibus appropriations bill:

  • Expansion of the OSU-Cascades Campus – In December, Governor Brown issued a letter to legislative leaders seeking a state bonding package that includes $39 million for a second academic building at OSU-Cascades, $40 million for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon, and $9 million for a new fieldhouse at Eastern Oregon University. The three universities are working together on a unified effort to secure approval of the three projects, each of which will include elements constructed of advanced wood products such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Click here to see the Governor’s letter to the legislature, click here to see a letter of support from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), and click here to see materials presented by all three universities during committee hearings last week. The state’s capacity for capital bonds is not directly affected by what happens with Measure 101, though some legislators have linked the two.
  • Matching funds for a DOE Marine Energy Grant – OSU will be seeking $4.6 million in general fund expenditures to match $35 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy which OSU successfully competed for last year. OSU is seeking additional match-funding from industry and philanthropy. For a description of the marine energy initiative, click here.

Policy Bills

Final bill drafts will not be available until later this week, but a number of policy bills affecting OSU and higher education have surfaced, including:

  • Tuition Setting – In response to a contentious tuition-setting process in 2017, Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-Portland) is working with the Oregon Student Association to introduce a bill that seeks to alter both the process and the standards by which public universities consider and approve tuition increases. The draft legislation would require universities to file a report with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) justifying any increase above 3% on resident, undergraduate students. It would also prescribe a uniform committee process across all campuses for setting tuition and would codify the criteria Governor Brown used in a letter to the HECC in April of 2017 regarding tuition increases that were over 5% last year. (The Governor wrote this letter after proposing to flat-fund the universities in the budget she recommended to the legislature.) Without considering the level of funding provided by the state, the bill language would require the HECC to reject any tuition increase above 5% that does not meet these criteria.

While the universities agree with students that last year’s process did not work well, the primary reason universities sought tuition increases over 5% last year was Governor Brown’s recommended budget that provided no increases for the current biennium. Fortunately, following joint and active efforts by students and the universities throughout the 2017 session, the legislature provided a $70 million increase over the Governor’s recommended budget, and all but one of the universities that had sought tuition increases over 5% were able reduce their increases below 5%.

The bill does not address the single most important factor that has driven tuition decisions on Oregon’s campuses: legislative appropriations have simply not kept pace with state-mandated costs such as retirement and health benefits. If legislators were truly interested in reigning in tuition increases, they would apply the criteria they are seeking to impose on universities to their own funding decisions.

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – The seven universities are working with legislators to seek a technical change in statutes to ensure that university-based financial aid can continue to be provided in a manner that reflects statutory policy for the Oregon Opportunity Grant program.
  • Cap & Invest/Clean Energy & Jobs – In the months since the 2017 legislature adjourned, the House Energy & Environment and Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committees have been working on revamping legislation considered during the 2017 session that would establish a program by which large emitters of carbon dioxide would participate in a market to counterbalance and reduce their emissions. The bills under consideration in the 2018 session include a regulatory threshold of 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide produced annually. An entity over the threshold would need to purchase – via auction – emissions allocations. The OSU cogeneration heat plant, which became operational in 2010 and significantly reduced the university’s overall carbon output and reliance on coal-fired electricity, exceeds the 25,000 ton regulatory threshold by about 15,000 tons. OSU is working with Oregon Health & Science University, which is the only other state-based institution that exceeds the regulatory threshold, to consider ways by which both institutions can meet the goals and intent of the legislation. The bills are generating a high level of positive and negative interest among environmental and business interests.
  • Authority to conduct hemp research – OSU is working with the hemp industry, Farm Bureau, and Oregon Department of Agriculture on legislation that would enable university research on hemp cultivation and utilization.

More bills will surface in the coming weeks. If you have questions or concerns about legislation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Altman skips meeting with Wyden, Schill, Tracy on sex assaults

He was coaching a basketball game instead. Michael Tobin has more on the meeting in the Emerald:

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden met with University of Oregon President Michael Schill to discuss the school’s handling of sexual violence and misconduct.

The meeting was prompted by November’s exchange of letters between the university and Wyden in which the senior senator and UO alumnus expressed concern over the university’s handling of the Kavell Bigby-Williams sexual assault investigation.

Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault prevention activist, was also at the meeting.

In a statement released on AroundtheO, President Schill called Friday’s meeting “a productive dialogue,” despite what he referred to as “tough questions.” …

Update Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.: Brenda Tracy responded to The Emerald’s request for comment Sunday afternoon about the meeting. She said the meeting was “not as productive as I would have hoped.”

“They’re standing firm that they did nothing wrong. I left there feeling like this could happen again and probably will,” she said.

The Around the O report has not yet been updated:

President Michael H. Schill has released a statement on a recent meeting regarding the University of Oregon’s approach to dealing with incidents of sexual violence and misconduct.

“Friday afternoon, key members of our leadership team and I had an opportunity to meet with Sen. Ron Wyden, members of his staff, Brenda Tracy and attorney Jacqueline Swanson about the university’s approach to dealing with incidents of sexual violence and misconduct. The university is grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to the senator and discuss in detail the complexities that surround these kinds of issues.

While there were certainly some tough questions, it was a productive dialog, and I greatly appreciate the senator and Ms. Tracy’s commitment to fighting sexual assault on campus. We share that commitment and strive everyday to meet the needs of survivors and reporters.

I came to the University of Oregon immediately after a well-publicized incident involving the alleged sexual assault of one of our students. I pledged to our community that I would do everything in my power to combat sexual violence at our school. Over the past three years – with the support and hard work of the University Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence and a cadre of committed administrators, faculty and students – the University of Oregon has created innovative prevention programs and an effective Title IX enforcement mechanism that is best-in-class. 

I am proud of our achievements in this area but I am far from satisfied. Our procedures and our programs can always get better. We look forward to working with Sen. Wyden, Ms. Tracy and others to do just that.

Undergraduate Studies reorganization: Town halls Jan 12th and 19th, 5:00

Update from Banavar:


There is no question that we all share a common goal—supporting our students and ensuring that they have the resources to be successful during their time at the University of Oregon and beyond. This week Dennis Galvan, interim vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies, announced some changes to the UGS team that are aimed squarely at improving and enhancing the way we support student success initiatives at the UO. These changes include a new arrangement in which our highly successful programs such as PathwayOregon, Teaching and Learning Center tutoring and academic support, and our first-year enrichment programs are all better connected and are all ultimately managed by Doneka Scott, associate vice provost for student success. Dennis has detailed those changes in a memorandum to the UGS staff.

The reorganization that Dennis has embarked upon does not eliminate any programs. It simply consolidates administrative oversight of our student success programs within UGS to increase collaboration and coordination. Dennis has been working closely with me and leaders within the provost’s office and UGS to develop a plan that will ultimately strengthen and improve alignment among various student success programs. While we have many fantastic programs—and many talented and dedicated people who support those programs—in some instances our siloed and decentralized structure meant that those programs were not achieving their full potential. 

I understand that change can sometimes be unsettling, but change is necessary if we are to better support our students. I thank everyone within UGS for their patience and understanding. Though some positions may change slightly, this is not an effort to reduce FTE within UGS. Some of you may have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Dennis.

Thank you,

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

Update from Galvan:

Short overview of UGS reorganization

Dear Colleagues: 

The Division of Undergraduate Studied is undertaking a reorganization to expand on our best programs and maximize student success. 

In particular, we are changing reporting lines and eventually relocating some of our best programs, now in the Teaching and Learning Center, by making them the center of our reorganized division. We will build on and expand Pathway, Trio SSS, Learning Specialists, Class Encore, McNair, Health Professions Program, among other marvelous endeavors. 

The new division of UGS involves a new, more integrated organizational structure. Reporting lines and locations will change gradually in the coming months. There will be no reduction in positions. While change of this kind is often challenging, we’re convinced we will come out of it better equipped to advance the university’s student success goals. 

Please do be in touch with me or Doneka Scott if you have any questions or concerns. 

Very best,

Dennis …

1/12/2018: I’m just posting what people have sent me. I don’t have any inside info on UGS. As noted below Interim Dean Dennis Galvan has set up a survey and two forums to provide more info and answer questions:

The first will be especially for TLC staff members (though all are welcome) and will be tomorrow, Friday (1/12) from 5-6:30pm in the Swindells room in the EMU
The second will be for all UGS staff on Friday, January 19th, 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (room 101) in Jacqua.

While UO Matters welcomes comments with actual facts, unsubstantiated rumors, prophecies of doom, or inspiring messages from PR flacks such as Tobin Klinger about how the light of the world will move forward into broad sunlit uplands, I encourage people to fill out the anonymous survey below (which helpfully asks for questions for the forums) and then to go to the forums if they can. Reports from the forums would be very welcome.

1)  A letter from Galvan, forwarded to me by “Anonymous”:

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share some important changes coming to Undergraduate Studies. Over the last several months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about what UGS does, the many strengths that each unit brings to the division, and opportunities for efficiency and alignment. As you all know, Undergraduate Studies has been tasked by the president with the significant task of enhancing student success at UO. Retention and graduation rates are of course key metrics. Student success also depends on our ability to offer a meaningful, comprehensive, and rigorous education to all our students, while giving them the support they need to make the most of that education.

After many meetings and conversations with leaders in UGS, I’ve decided that, to maximize student success, we need to place programs that have been highly successful in impacting students (from retention and graduation rates to holistic student support services ) within a new arrangement for our division, enabling us to expand synergetic relationships that will make our efforts even more robust.

To that end:

Pathway, Trio SSS, and the Health Professions Program will become part of the Office of Academic Advising (OAA), with OAA reporting to Doneka Scott;
TLC tutoring and academic support programs will remain under Amy Neutzman’s supervision, with Amy reporting to Doneka Scott;
FIGs, ARCs and Common Reading will also become part of Doneka’s portfolio, which will weave academic support and first-year enrichment into a wrap-around system for student success, especially in the first two years;
McNair will move under Josh Snodgrass in a team focused on undergraduate research and experiential learning;
Ron Bramhall will continue working on core ed and curriculum reform, but he will be formally “detailed” from OPAA into a 0.5 role as AVP for Undergraduate Academic Excellence, with reporting line to the UGS Dean and Vice Provost;
TLC administrative support staff will be reassigned to central UGS duties, with appropriate consultation and evaluation;
Teaching Engagement Program will have a new relationship with both the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Studies, with further details to follow.

I also want to take advantage of Susan Lesyk’s experience and success in developing programs that enhance the student experience. She will be joining a team that will be charged with implementing an advising and support program for students during their first two years on campus, and leading a series of critical assignments at the heart of student success. In assuming this new role, she is being promoted to Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Academic Initiatives.

While the effective date for change in reporting lines is 1 February 2018, we will work out detailed and tailored transition plans for each unit and individual experiencing a change. Consultations will begin immediately to work out ways to minimize disruption of student services and help units and individuals shift to the new organizational structure along timelines and following processes that make sense for our operations, services, and staff.

As reporting lines and some positions may change, everyone in UGS will continue to have a place within the division. This reorganization is not designed to reduce our FTE or eliminate positions, but instead to maximize integration and build a unified team to advance the university’s student success agenda.

The issue of space allocations continues to evolve, but over time, all UGS units will be located in the Knight Library, Oregon Hall, or the new Tykeson Building. A number of these moves will take place during winter and spring terms 2018. Timing of moves will be a part of the individualized transition plans mentioned above.

Excellent work has been done on student success within every UGS unit. These changes will present the opportunity to continue this work in a more streamlined and efficient way, while taking advantage of the experience and expertise that exists within UGS

That said, change is always hard, and I am committed to providing, open, public space to share our perspectives on major changes. I want to hear from you and answer your questions as best I can. To that end, I have scheduled two open forum meetings:

The first will be especially for TLC staff members (though all are welcome) and will be tomorrow, Friday (1/12) from 5-6:30pm in the Swindells room in the EMU
The second will be for all UGS staff on Friday, January 19th, 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (room 101) in Jacqua.

I realize that, given the short notice, many of you will not be able to attend at either of these times. Maeve Anderson will be in touch to schedule other meetings either by unit, or in open forum format, beginning next week.

If you would like to submit questions or comments anonymously in advance, please do so through this qualtrics survey [https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50dFDVfGDS91PlX] for anonymous feedback and comments.And of course, please do feel free to reach out to me directly at any time.

With thanks for your understanding and collaboration,


Dennis Galvan
Interim Vice Provost and Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Professor of Political Science & International Studies
University of Oregon

2) A response to the above, emailed to uomatters and about 65 others including reporters from “A concerned University of Oregon member”:

Dear President Schill,

I am dismayed to learn that the Division of Undergraduate Studies intends to eliminate the Teaching and Learning Center; home to programs such as Health Professions, Class Encore, Student Support Services, Pathway Oregon, and the Teaching Effectiveness Program. The elimination of the Teaching and Learning Center is part of a reorganization of the Division of Undergraduate Studies lead by the current Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and current Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dennis Galvan. Through my years at the University of Oregon, I have work directly with the Teaching and Learning Center on countless student engagement and student success initiatives which is why I find this news so shocking and troubling. If you, President Schill, truly feel as strongly about student success as you have stated on multiple occasions, including your 2017 State of the University address, you will feel equally as shocked and troubled by this news.

The Teaching and Learning Center has a storied history within the University of Oregon as a leader in student support and a home to students which is why this is so stunning as to be inconceivable. Furthermore, I was shocked an appalled to discover that this decision was made without consultation of the committed and hard-working directors within the Teaching and Learning Center or the executive counsel of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. With an effective date of February 1st, the campus community and the students we support are left with no time to plan, much less prepare for such a monumental upheaval of an integral pillar to student success on campus. Such a rash and rushed initiative can only serve to harm the very students we are here to support.

It is a thinly veiled secret that there have been significant issues in undergraduate advising at the University of Oregon. Through the hard-work of dedicated advisors and faculty across campus we have seen progress; although not as fast as we had hoped and certainly not as rapidly as you have wished. But the response to slow progress should be seen through support and recognition of programs that work, not their destruction. There is more than the constituent programs that make the Teaching and Learning Center so effective in its mission of student success. That magic cannot be simply transplanted from one office to another, but must be grown at its core.

I cannot begin to understand how Susan Lesyk and the wonderful team she has assembled must feel, but I am left in shock and grief that the University of Oregon may lose yet another institution to student success and we as a community may lose these wonderful people. While Mr. Galvan may herald this as the beginning to a new era of student success I fear this is the end to these critical programs and the philosophy of student success  at the University of Oregon.

President Schill, there is still time to rectify this ill-advised and ill-conceived proposal, but I beseech you to act promptly less an integral home to student success is lost forever.


A concerned University of Oregon member.


To my colleagues,

The shocking nature of this calamity has lead me to write this letter, an act I would have found unthinkable mere hours ago. I write this letter of my volition and without awareness from those involved. I could not sleep without taking some small action.  

Please do not let the Teaching and Learning Center go quietly into the pages of history. Please share your wonderful experiences with the Teaching and Learning Center and your sentiment on the importance of student success with the leadership and Mr. Galvan. Please pass this message along to all those who will care deeply about this troubling news. I have also learned of two open forums at which Mr. Galvan will be taking questions.


Friday (January 12th) from 5-6:30pm in the EMU Swindells Room

Friday (January 19th) from 5-6:30pm in the Harrington Auditorium (Room 101) in Jacqua

Mr Galvan has also created a survey (https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50dFDVfGDS91PlX) for anonymous feedback and comments.

Thank you!

Campus Update from President Schill

Dear colleagues and friends,

As I write this Open Mike, I feel the earth move under my feet. Before you get concerned that I am singing Carole King songs (she is one of my favorites) or having a nightmare about the Cascadia Subduction Zone, you should understand that just outside my office massive trucks and bulldozers are busy breaking ground for the new Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, the college and careers building. Since the start of the term, construction crews have been diligently digging, hammering, and preparing the site for a stunning new building that will open in fall 2019. It is noisy; it is loud; and sometimes it feels like the earth really is moving, but it is all for a great and important cause.

The Tykeson building will not only be placed at a central location on our beautiful campus; in many ways it will serve as a new center of gravity for our efforts connected to the single most important objective we all share—helping our students succeed. It will provide us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to refocus and rethink how we deliver academic and career advising to our students, all under one roof. In addition to adding much-needed office and classroom space to campus, the new building will house College of Arts and Sciences advising services and the UO Career Center. It will provide an integrated approach to advising that will help students consider their career options and then work to devise an academic plan for getting there.

The construction of Tykeson Hall is the latest chapter of the conversation we started three months after I took office about the importance of doing everything we can to enable our students to succeed. So much has happened since I stood in front of campus at the EMU and made the case that on-time graduation promotes a student’s likelihood of earning a diploma and substantially reduces the cost of college. We have already seen modest increases in carrying loads, retention, and graduation rates. While I am pleased that we have made progress, there is much, much more to accomplish.

Over the next year we will work with academic advisors in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence, PathwayOregon, and all the schools and colleges to improve and enhance coordination through creation of a unified academic advising action plan. The important work of improving our student success efforts is being led by Provost Jayanth Banavar and Dennis Galvan, the interim vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies. You can expect to see changes throughout the university to support these efforts in the coming year. We cannot let our decentralized administrative structure stand in the way of our students’ success—and we won’t.

Today’s students need more than just a degree: they need assistance and guidance in landing jobs that meet their needs and aspirations. We owe it to future generations of students and to those who gave to this endeavor to get this right. We must break down silos between administrative divisions and schools to devise the sort of comprehensive resources and advising that will prepare our students for fulfilling careers in a fast-moving and increasingly global economy. In addition, we must create more high-impact opportunities for students to work with the faculty and more avenues for them to gain experiential education, such as internships and study abroad.

While the construction crews are building a strong foundation for the Tykeson building, we must start now to lay the programmatic foundation for long-term success. This is one of my top priorities for 2018.

Speaking of construction projects and laying a foundation for the future, moving the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact closer to its launch will occupy a good deal of my time in 2018. Luckily, I will be working with a terrific team, including interim director Patrick Phillips; our newly hired executive director, Bob Guldberg, who will be joining us this summer; Mike Harwood from our planning and development office; and scores of others. You may have noticed crews clearing the land on the corner of Agate and Franklin, and we anticipate breaking ground for the first two buildings in March.

Prior to the time those Knight Campus buildings are ready for occupancy in 2020, we need to do a lot of planning. Among the most important tasks will be for us to work with our faculty here at the UO and potential partners such as Oregon Health and Science University to determine the areas of applied science on which to focus. Our challenge is to pick areas that are not just hot today but that will be at the forefront of scientific advancement in 10 years. We will then need to identify, recruit, and hire world-class researchers and postdocs to come to Eugene.

Part of the promise of the Knight Campus is the advancement of science with a tangible, beneficial impact on society. We hope that the discoveries and innovations will make the world better and, at the same time, drive economic activity in the region. One way this will occur is through the creation of companies that will bring new products and therapeutic treatments to market. We will need to work with faculty members, alumni, and community members to create an ecosystem in Eugene to promote this kind of activity. That work begins now.

While the creation of the Knight Campus is the most dramatic academic undertaking at the UO, it is certainly not the only one. Provost Banavar and I are working with faculty members and deans to support existing areas of excellence and seed new and exciting ones that will strengthen our university’s academic profile and meet our students’ needs. We have already provided seed funding for the School of Journalism and Communication’s Media Center for Science and Technology, the College of Education’s Oregon Research Schools Network, and faculty lines for the College of Arts and Science’s emerging Black studies program. We are also working with faculty members to conceptualize and fund new and exciting programs in data science, neuroscience, and the microbiome.

We have asked deans to work with their faculties to think about new and innovative interdisciplinary programs. It is my hope that great ideas in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and professional schools will outstrip available resources. That is the sign of a healthy, striving institution. The provost and I will work with deans to find new resources through philanthropy, an increase in revenue, and the reallocation of existing resources. The new institutional hiring plan will be one way we can achieve this.

I am also eager to move forward with online education. The UO has been slow to move into this realm and, frankly, it is hurting us. Students today demand online options. If we do not provide them, they will go (and are going) elsewhere. More robust online offerings could generate revenue to moderate future tuition increases and help fund our march toward excellence. What is more important, the creation of online course options would help our students graduate on time—saving them time and money and accelerating their move into the workforce. I have asked the provost to move quickly and to work with our faculty and administrators to explore and implement models of online education that simultaneously maintain high levels of quality and achieve these objectives.

A new year is about resolutions. Before winter break I attended a Quack Chat talk by Elliot Berkman, associate professor of psychology, who presented research that shows much of the motivation to hold to our resolutions is driven by social connections and our own self-image. I couldn’t help thinking as I listened to Elliot that if we all work together toward excellence, expect and encourage each other to be great, and see ourselves as a world-class public research university, we will continue to enhance and increase excellence at the UO. We have much work to do. I hope you’ll join me in the effort to stay focused on the things that matter most—moving heaven and earth to help our students succeed and building an academic program of distinction.


Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law