UO to teach Republican faculty how to write OpEds on their ideals

At least I assume that’s who this workshop is for, since they’re the most under-represented group on campus. But I doubt they’re going to find 21 Republicans to fill the class among UO’s ~1600 faculty, so maybe I’m missing something:

On February 22 and 23, 2020, the Clark Honors College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Equity and Inclusion are co-sponsoring a two-day workshop, called “Write to Change the World.” In this interactive workshop participants will explore ideas and sources of credibility; learn how to present ideas quickly and powerfully under pressure; understand when and why people change their minds; reflect on the difference between being “right” and being effective; and develop strategies for greater impact, including how to escape being pigeonholed and how to preach beyond the choir. The workshop also includes a pedagogical component, so that participants can incorporate this important part of public writing into their courses. Participants will leave with an outline of an op-ed in hand, plus three months’ access to OpEd Project journalist mentors for individual follow-up.

Recognizing that journalism is improved when a diversity of perspectives are included in public discourse, the OpEd Project and its UO partners seek to focus on the ideas and impact of underrepresented voices, including women, in order to share knowledge, resources and connections across color, creed, class, sexuality, gender and beyond.

Each of the co-sponsors will send seven participants to the workshop. Faculty members can submit applications to only one of the co-sponsors.

TTF faculty and career instructors may submit applications to the College of Arts and Sciences. Applications should include the following:

    1. A letter of application (no more than 500 words), describing how this workshop relates to your teaching and research, and how you will focus on the ideas and impact of underrepresented voices
    2. A description of the project you intend to work on during the workshop (no more than 250 words)
    3. A current CV.

Please send applications to: casdean@uoregon.eduApplications are due December 15, 2019. Applicants will be notified no later than January 15, 2020.

VPRI David Conover to retire, open national search for replacement

Dear University of Oregon Colleagues,

We are writing to let you know that David Conover is retiring from his role as vice president for research and innovation at the end of the academic year, effective July 3, 2020. David has served the university with distinction and been instrumental in promoting interdisciplinary research excellence and innovation in every corner of campus. He has determined that now is the right time for him to step down to wrap up some important research he has developed over his long and distinguished career. Upon retirement, he will hold the title of emeritus professor in the Department of Biology.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) supports the university’s research centers and essential core facilities, encourages innovation and economic development through strategic partnering and technology transfer initiatives, and helps identify ways to support our efforts as a top-tier research institution. The office oversees and coordinates the UO’s research proposal submissions, compliance, and contract and grant administration.

David has provided leadership around research opportunities across the university with a steady hand, an eye toward problem-solving, tenacity, and an earnest wit. He helped develop OVPRI’s new strategic plan, reduced administrative bottlenecks, and improved the ways the university uses data to benchmark and evaluate our research success.

David joined the university in 2016 and in the nearly four years of his tenure, the UO’s research and development expenditures grew almost 20 percent. For fiscal year 2018-19, the value of new research awards increased 70 percent, and federal research expenditures were up 9.6 percent. David and his team have done a great job in supporting these achievements in part by encouraging and incentivizing faculty to apply for more and larger grants.

We are committed to seeing that activity and trajectory continue under the next leader of OVPRI. We will launch an open, national search in the coming months for a new vice president to support the great work and research occurring across the campus and leverage the momentum of the last few years. We hope to be able to have the role filled prior to David’s departure next summer. Going forward, we will consult with David, his office, and campus stakeholders on next steps and will provide more information as a search plan is developed.

Please join us in thanking David for all he has done to serve the University of Oregon. We are happy that he will remain a friend and partner to the university in the capacity of emeritus professor.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

Pres Schill and Kevin Reed continue work to weaken shared governance

Long story. Back in 2012 Interim UO President Bob Berdahl commissioned this memo from then General Counsel Randy Geller, on how he could disband the UO Senate and ensure its former committees were staffed with his lackeys. Snippets:

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.00.28 PM

This abolitionist effort failed. President Schill has adopted a more indirect, long term approach to weakening the Senate and shared governance.

Here’s the latest example. Last year, as Senate President I appointed a faculty member to the Campus Planning Committee who was skeptical of President Schill’s plans to develop the North Campus. The CPC has no real power, it just makes recommendations. You’d think there’d be no problem having a skeptic on it. Some might welcome one.

Not President Schill, whose response to this appointment was to unleash the full force of his office against it. He had his Liaison to the Senate Melanie Muenzer, devote hours of her time, staff time, summer law student intern time, and Senate Leadership time to argue that the President appointed the faculty members of the CPC, not the Senate. Now he’s got his General Counsel Kevin Reed to issue this 5 page memo, with a 20 page appendix, supporting his effort to control who makes recommendations to him and the campus about campus planning:

Full doc here.

Uh, 12-1 Nov 22 is *an* office hour, not “office hours”

One of the criticisms of the appointment and then reappointment of Ed school Prof Laura Lee McIntyre as the faculty trustee was that she didn’t know much about CAS – and the Board had specifically said the trustee replacing Law Prof Susan Gary should be from CAS. Around the O reports on McIntyre’s efforts to learn something about the rest of the university:

Board of trustees office hours scheduled for fall term 2019

Faculty trustee Laura Lee McIntyre will hold office hours for faculty colleagues Friday, Nov. 22, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Erb Memorial Union’s Owyhee Room. McIntyre is a professor and head of the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences.

Senate for Wed: Schill’s State of U + Neuroscience, Diverse Heritage

Liveblog: State of the University updates from Pres Schill:

4-year graduation rate is up from about 50% to about 60. Budget situation is not good because of PERS and our heavily unionized environment. [And the failures of our board He’s going to work with Senate on a new policy for hiring academic administrators. He believes in trust and transparency. UO needs new degrees to keep up with our peers.

Senate Meeting Agenda – November 13, 2019

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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron
  • Remarks; Senate Vice President Elliot Berkman

3:10 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:15 P.M.   State of the University

  • President Schill
  • Tim Gardner, Knight Campus

3:30 P.M.   New Business

  • Election: Tenured faculty senator to serve on Senate Budget Committee: Nomination (Gina Biancarosa, COE)
  • Vote: US19/20-06: Motion re: UOCC rep to Graduate Council-voting status; Frances White (Anthropology)
  • Vote: US19/20-05: New Program Proposal: Bachelor’s in Neuroscience; Nicole Dudukovic (Psychology), Phil Washbourne (Biology), Hal Sadofsky (Divisional Dean Natural Sciences)
  • Update: Data Science undergraduate program proposal; Joe Sventek (Computer & Information Science) Bill Cresko (Dir Data Science Initiatives)

4:30 P.M.    Open Discussion

  • Committee on Recognizing our Diverse History: Updates (10’) and discussion (20’, time permitting)

4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:51 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:55 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Presidents Trump & Schill disagree over who is most transparent

It’s a tough call, really:

President Trump, 11/11/2019:

President Schill, 10/10/2019:

I can say, without a doubt, that the UO is the most transparent of them all. It’s not even close. The amount of data and information that we make available is truly extraordinary. …  I am planning to launch a transparency website this term, an online clearinghouse where we consolidate many of the publicly available reports and data about the university into one online location. … I look forward to sharing it with you in the coming weeks …

10/10/2019: Pres Schill thinks UO is transparent & your comments are disgusting

Also, while he continues to let his GC Kevin Reed use fees and delays to hide public records, he’s spending tuition money on an overscripted buddy movie of himself and Provost Phillips,

and on a “transparency website” that will post the information he wants you to see in easily digestible form. Please forgive my cynicism:

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,

A few weeks ago, UO’s new Provost Patrick Phillips and I took a walk around campus and talked about some of the things we are both looking forward to at the start of a new academic year. I would like to try something new—a hybrid edition of Open Mike featuring both video and text. I hope you will indulge me and take a few minutes to watch our discussion.

As we walked across campus, one topic we kept coming back to was our shared goal of helping to build a campus culture at UO that is grounded in both academic freedom and respectful dialogue. Some believe those two ideals are in conflict, but I do not see it that way. For example, Patrick and I do not always agree—and that is a good thing—because we make better decisions for the institution when we are challenging each other’s assumptions, playing devil’s advocate, and pushing the other to consider flaws in logic or to confront personal biases. The thing I most appreciate, though, is that we have the highest level of respect for each other and know that the conversation, even if heated, is rooted in wanting the best for the UO’s future, respecting our mission, and valuing students, faculty, and staff.

Our conversation got me thinking about the principles that should ultimately bind an academic institution and community of scholars. I firmly believe the UO is a community united by a desire to serve our current students and future generations. We strive for truth and understanding, and it is only through cooperation and teamwork that we can succeed, whether in the laboratory or the classroom. It is this spirit of cooperation and the sense of a higher calling to work toward the betterment of society through our mission of research, education, and service that makes us different, that generates the special spirit that is needed for us to succeed at the highest level. Our actions should model the behavior we hope will rub off on our students.

Quite honestly, I am not sure that we at the UO have always lived up to that ideal. Our campus culture can sometimes show cracks from the voices of cynicism and discord. But I recognize that I cannot expect those who seek a culture that values both academic freedom and respect to raise their voices if I do not set the right example from Johnson Hall. For that reason, I am establishing some principles that I will personally adhere to and that I will insist all members of my administration follow in a sincere effort to maintain and improve our campus culture. I invite colleagues across campus to do the same. Here are the principles I commit myself and the other administrators to:

Honesty. I, and the people who report to me, will never knowingly lie or mislead members of our community. Trust is an essential element of any well-functioning community and honesty is the foundation of trust. Unfortunately, the university I joined in 2015 was suffering from a severe lack of trust for reasons we all understand. I have tried my best to engender trust over the past four years, but I have not been as successful as I would have hoped. I continue to looks for ways to redouble my efforts here. But trust is a two-way street. We must all call out the bad behavior of some members of our community whose main purpose is to spread falsehoods for the purpose of sowing doubt and cynicism or achieving strategic advantage. A healthy dose of skepticism is good, but character assassination and the spreading of lies and innuendo is not.

Transparency. Trust can only be built through transparency. I sometimes wonder why some folks always think the administration is hiding things. I have been a faculty member at two universities and a faculty member/administrator at three others. I can say, without a doubt, that the UO is the most transparent of them all. It’s not even close. The amount of data and information that we make available is truly extraordinary. I sometimes think that the sheer volume of information on our institutional research and budget websites might hinder members of our community from finding what they are looking for. To deal with this issue, I am planning to launch a transparency website this term, an online clearinghouse where we consolidate many of the publicly available reports and data about the university into one online location. In addition, I hope to provide facts to answer some commonly held questions and clear up some persistent myths about the university. I look forward to sharing it with you in the coming weeks and, once it is live, I invite input from all of you on how we can improve it and make the tool more useful. Stay tuned.

Respect. As I stated above, one of the defining features of a successful academic community is respect. Respect for each other’s views and for our colleagues as people. Respect does not mean that we need to agree with each other; quite to the contrary. Vigorous disagreement about ideas is the hallmark of a healthy academic community. But ad hominin attacks, aspersions about motives, insults directed at colleagues, and harassment of co-workers are all signs of a dysfunctional community. We can do better here. I am disgusted by what I sometimes read online and in the comments section of local newspapers and blogs. We are better than this. If we are not, we need to be. We are faced with enough bad behavior online and in Washington, D.C.; we do not need to bring it into our university. I pledge I will do my best to treat everyone here with respect, whether in my office, in the classroom, or just walking across campus. I hope that respect will be mutual.

Grace. One of the defining elements of a well-functioning community is empathy, kindness, and, for want of a better word, grace. Over the past four years I have met thousands of our staff members, graduate students, faculty members, and administrators. I have talked to you and believe that the vast majority of our faculty and staff care deeply about our students and their futures. That is why you are here. You forgive them their mistakes and understand that life is about learning from our experiences—both good and bad. I wish that we could show each other that same grace. I have made and will make some mistakes as your president. So will other administrators. And so will you. But let’s not turn every mistake into a moment of attack. Let’s treat each other with some of the same grace we show our students. I promise I will try to do that as I fulfill my obligations as your president.

So, as we begin a new academic year, one that could have its share of tension and disagreement, I will employ these principles of honesty, transparency, respect, and grace. I will also try, to the best I am able, to throw in a bit of wisdom and humor from time to time.

Welcome back. I very much look forward to working closely with each of you this year.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Prof Jennifer Freyd’s work gets influential citation – from South Park

While UO’s lawyer Paula Barran – acting as the agent of President Schill and the Board of Trustees – has argued it’s OK to pay Freyd less because she doesn’t use bodily fluids or “sophisticated brain imaging” in her research, it appears that her ideas have a power of their own.

DARVO is the acronym she coined to explain a common way for bullies to respond to accusations of wrongdoing – as explained in the latest South Park episode:

Thanks to reader Dogmatic Ratios for the link. 39K views last I looked. How should this citation get weighted in Brad Shelton’s faculty metrics and merit pay increases?

Pres Schill on DACA

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,
Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is important to the University of Oregon because for students on our campus, and at other universities across the country, DACA helps provide a path to higher education and a better life.
In this Open Mike I will focus on DACA and not the broader set of issues concerning undocumented immigrants. Nevertheless, it doesn’t escape me that much of the current controversy swirling around DACA would not exist if Congress and the president could agree upon comprehensive immigration reform, something that appears out of reach for the time being.
Access to opportunity and fidelity to our nation’s ideals are ultimately what are both at stake next week, when the Trump administration squares off against the state of California and other plaintiffs seeking to reverse decisions of several appellate courts that blocked the government’s attempts to repeal the DACA program. The UO has signed on to amicus briefs supporting the continuation of DACA, which is important to the UO, higher education and, I believe, our nation.
Simply put, it would be wrong and negatively impact our country to uproot a person’s life based on whether they, as a child, entered our nation either legally or illegally under federal law. Today, thousands of DACA recipients are now working as professionals and are contributing billions of dollars to our economy. Rather than seeking to deport them, in my view, we should provide these Dreamers with a clear path to citizenship and ensure that they have access to the resources that will help them continue to achieve the American Dream, including access to public higher education. Our nation’s ideals and values demand that we should provide the same opportunity to today’s Dreamers that was afforded to countless generations of immigrants before them, including all four of my grandparents.
DACA was implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 to allow qualifying undocumented individuals who satisfied a set of criteria to receive renewable two-year periods of deferred action from deportation and to apply for temporary work permits. Prior to DACA, these young people lived under constant fear of being deported back to countries with which they may have had little connection or memory. Many had no hope of going to college, since they would have been ineligible for state aid, unable to obtain loans, and barred from seeking lawful employment.
DACA provides a lifeline of hope. Although accurate data is hard to come by, an estimated 120,000 DACA recipients have attended or are currently enrolled in American universities, including some at the UO. Thanks to legislation adopted by Oregon and several other states, many of those DACA students have been able to take advantage of in-state tuition at public universities. Some financed their education with private loans and many worked and continue to work part time or full time to afford tuition, room, and board. Many DACA students have thrived on our campus, taken leadership roles in campus groups, and graduated with honors. The program’s continuity has led many who otherwise would not have received degrees to complete their educations. These are people who put that education to work by enriching the civic, social, and economic fabric of their communities.
The Supreme Court will rule by June 2020 on the legal merits of the government’s position that it has the discretion to end the program. As I already noted, the UO has signed on to amicus briefs through a number of organizations of which we are a member, including the Association of American Universities, the American Council of Education, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
The justice of letting DACA recipients remain in the U.S. seems pretty clear to me. But I am aware that not everyone shares my intuitions about what is right or wrong. Nor should they. So, let’s examine the question from a more consequential perspective. Would we (the United States of America) be better off deporting DACA recipients or letting them remain here? The United States is experiencing an aging population. Increasingly, immigration will be important in providing us with the workforce we need to fuel the economy. We have already invested tremendous resources in educating these young men and women in our K-12 school systems. In addition, many have already gone on to higher education, a number of whom have received advanced degrees. Would requiring DACA recipients to leave the United States truly serve our nation’s best interest? I think not.
I’ve already noted that my grandparents—both maternal and paternal—came to America to escape anti-Semitic persecution and to pursue economic opportunity. I admit I am biased, but I believe immigrants immeasurably strengthen our nation. They choose to become part of our polity, often at great cost and risk to their safety and security. Immigrants provide our nation with the talent that fuels its global competitiveness. It is no accident that many of our greatest inventors and theorists have come to us from other nations. Indeed, today, the graduate students who study in our laboratories and work with our faculty to make scientific discoveries often come from abroad. And, the economically impoverished who cross our borders often contribute in manifold ways to our economy by doing needed work and by anchoring our communities.
DACA students are part of a long line of people who have migrated to, strengthened, and enriched our nation. There can be no doubt that the United States needs comprehensive immigration reform that regulates the flow of people into the nation and that makes it easier to secure our borders. That will require bipartisan, thoughtful debate. But to uproot these young people, deny them educational opportunity, and deport them violates principles of fairness and economic self-interest. It betrays the essence of our national identity and ideals.
At the UO, we will continue to support our DACA and Dreamer students by lending our name to the Supreme Court litigation, by not cooperating with efforts by federal authorities to deport students, by supporting our Dreamers Working Group and their efforts to build allies for these students, and by providing advice, services, and, where possible, financial assistance to help them achieve their dreams. It is the right thing to do. I am hopeful that the courts will continue to let this important program serve as a lifeline of hope to a group of Dreamers who know no other home than the United States and deserve access to the same opportunities as their peers.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Live up to your Mission, UO

That’s the title of this Op-Ed in the RG today by Jennifer Gomez, one of Jennifer Freyd’s many excellent students. Read it all, here are some snippets:

… However, when people from across the country hear where I am from, invariably someone will ask, “What is the matter with University of Oregon?”

People reference the ongoing lawsuit of Freyd vs. University of Oregon regarding sex discrimination under The Equal Pay Act, Title VII, Title IX and Oregon’s state sex discrimination statute. Professor Jennifer J. Freyd is being paid tens of thousands of dollars less per year than her male counterparts. UO responded by filing for summary judgment, which Judge Michael McShane granted. In doing so, the judge denied Freyd the opportunity to have a trial and present her case to a jury. McShane’s reasoning is, “The evidence establishes that her four male colleagues perform significantly different work than that done by Professor Freyd.”

This appraisal runs counter to the detailed guidelines for all professors that was put forth by the UO psychology department. The university has additional guidelines for professors as well.

The case is not over as Freyd’s legal team has appealed the summary judgment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The goal of this appeal is to have the right to go to trial so a jury can make a determination on the case.

Importantly, Freyd has some powerful players on her side: The American Association of University Professors filed an amicus brief in support of Freyd’s case; Equal Rights Advocates and 47 women’s and civil rights organizations filed another amicus brief in support of Freyd’s case; and the American Association of University Women has adopted Freyd’s case as one it will support as it moves through the appellate process.

… Though I can’t prevent UO from its behavior in this case, there are people at UO right now who can. From President Michael Schill to General Counsel Kevin Reed to the board of trustees. It’s not too late. UO could still choose to live up to its mission of equity and inclusion. If for no other reason, UO could remember that its reputation as a top public university is on the line. Gender equality matters at universities like UO.

The world is watching.

Jennifer Gomez, Ph.D., UO Alumna, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development at Wayne State University.



Who will pick UO’s next President?

Phil Knight, acting through BoT Secretary Angela Wilhelms and Chuck Lillis, or whoever replaces him as BoT Chair. InsideHigherEd had the story on what happened last time, here:

… In an interview, Lillis disputed a newspaper account from the meeting that said he created a process that “reserves broad powers for himself — and a select group of others” by allowing him to conduct the search with an “assist” from the committee members. The Register-Guard said Lillis’s plan gave him sole authority to rank and even eliminate finalists. In an interview Friday evening, he said he’s not on the search committee, would be involved only as a member of the board and would not be “directly involved” until there are some finalists. (Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect further information on the chairman’s broad powers in the following three paragraphs.)

But, the plan voted on by the board clearly gives Lillis more power than he let on.  The search plan approved by the board – which Lillis drew up – gives the chairman power to interview all the search committee’s finalists and a host of other powers.

“The chair is authorized to narrow the field of candidates after consultation with the committee, and is also authorized to rank the candidates,” the plan says.

Inside Higher Ed last week requested all documents that outlined the search plan but was not provided with the actual plan, which has was brought to the site’s attention on Monday by UO Matters, a blog that carefully follows the university. The plan clearly contradicts the chairman’s characterization of his powers in the Friday interview. A spokeswoman for the university, Julie Brown, said Monday the omission was “not intentional.” …

Faculty Club celebrates 3rd anniversary

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club—your very own “study break” from midterm exam grading—is open during the usual hours this week, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00.

Last week’s Halloween celebration was festive, with a spooky “signature cocktail” and more than half of the attendees in costume. The prize for best costume was shared by Christopher Minson and Andrew Lovering, (Human Physiology), who arrived in oversized, motorized inflatable Toy Story character costumes—clearly out-gunning the competition.

This week we celebrate the third anniversary of the re-founding of the Faculty Club. Yes, our first gathering was in November 2016, the day after that historic presidential election. On that day, and ever since, the club has provided a venue for brainy peers to digest and discuss the craziness of the world. We’ll mark the anniversary with a special toast Thursday evening.

As always, please remember that all faculty members are able and encouraged to bring guests—we hope to see you one or both nights this week.

Yours, James Harper
Chair of the Faculty Club Board

Updated with Barran’s response: UO’s lawyer Paula Barran significantly exaggerated Freyd comparator’s grant to Judge McShane

Update, 11/4/2019:

Dear Readers –

Last week (Halloween to be precise) I received a letter from Attorney Peter Jarvis of the HK law firm. At his request I’ve added the full text to this post (at the bottom) and the pdf is here. He is representing Attorney Paula Barran, who was hired by UO GC Kevin Reed and AGC Doug Park to represent the UO administration against attorney Jennifer Middleton, who is representing Prof. Jennifer Freyd in her gender discrimination lawsuit. So he’s a lawyer for a lawyer who’s a lawyer for other lawyers, at a university whose president is a lawyer.

Frightening. However, I have to say that this is the most polite take-down request I’ve ever received. There’s none of the “govern yourself accordingly” bluster I get from UO GCO Kevin Reed, or the late-night defamation lawsuit threats that I used to get from his predecessors Doug Park and Randy Geller, not to mention Dave Frohnmayer and his lawyer Bill Gary.

Quoting from Mr. Jarvis:

UO Matters self-identifies as a registered institutionalized news media organization. As such, and based upon that public representation, it should hold itself to the journalistic standards expected from other media organizations. Ethical journalism requires authors to take responsibility for the accuracy of the work and ensure that they are not misrepresenting or oversimplifying the story or permitting their personal values to shape their reporting.

… I therefore respectfully request that the Article be retracted and removed from the UO Matters site.

If, however, you decline to do so, a copy of this letter should be posted to the site so that your readers can form their own opinions based on a fuller recitation of the facts and so that UO Matters can more closely comply with the ethical responsibilities expected of a news media organization.

An appeal to ethics is an unusual argument for a lawyer to make – particularly to an economist – but maybe he’s a fan of Adam’s Smith’s other book. In any case tit-for-tat is often the best strategy, so I’m adding the full text of his letter to the bottom of this post.

Additionally, although he did not request this, I am changing the title of the post from the original “UO’s lawyer Paula Barran lied to Judge McShane about Freyd comparator’s grant” to “UO’s lawyer Paula Barran significantly exaggerated Freyd comparator’s grant to Judge McShane” in recognition of the arguments he makes in this letter, which I encourage you to read.

Unfortunately, he then goes on to threaten me with a DMCA takedown notice if I don’t also remove the screenshot of his client below:

The Article includes a screenshot of Ms. Barran’s profile on the Barran Liebman LLP website. Barran Liebman LLP has copyrighted the material on its site and does not grant UO Matters the right to use its copyrighted material. If Barran Liebman LLP’s copyrighted material has not been removed from the UO Matters site within five (5) days, my clients will file a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Seriously? Back in April I sat through two hours of Ms Barran’s legal arguments in front of Judge McShane, and she is ripe for parody. As is anyone who brings up “bodily fluids” more times than Stanley Kubrick. I’m thinking my brief clip from her lengthy profile is allowed under the parody “fair use” provision in copyright law, and of course news-worthiness, as Mr. Jarvis seems to acknowledge this post is.

Of course DMCA takedown orders are frequently abused, and Mr. Jarvis is an attorney with a deep-pocket client, so don’t be surprised if my ISP takes down this post or even this blog for a while – which would be sad, given Ms Barran’s claimed interest in allowing people to form their own opinions.

Original post, 10/17/2019:

UO GC Kevin Reed and his associate GC Doug Park hired “top point getter” Paula Barran to defend the UO administration against Professor Jennifer Freyd’s gender discrimination lawsuit:

Apparently they know better than to dirty their own hands.

As shown in the court transcript below, Barran claimed that one of the comparator faculty Freyd identified was better than Freyd because “he just secured – while this case was pending – a $3 million grant from the Gates Foundation for his work.”

That wasn’t true. The Gates Foundation is admirably transparent:

The truth, corroborated by an email from Prof. Allen, is this:

He was a co-investigator on a grant from the Gates Foundation, but the grant was obtained by colleagues at Berkeley. He had a small subcontract. He also noted that the grant had very little to do with the digital sensing work.

I don’t know what the long-run consequences are for a lawyer who lies to a judge, but it seems from Judge McShane’s opinion dismissing Freyd’s lawsuit that it worked for the UO administration in the short-run:

McShane’s full opinion is here, the full docket is here, and I’ll post Kevin Reed’s retraction of Paula Barran’s $3M claim as soon as I get a copy.

10/17/2019: UO lawyers use helium-cooled MRI brain scanner against Prof Freyd

Freyd is appealing Judge McShane’s dismissal of her gender discrimination lawsuit against UO, with support from Equal Rights Advocates, the AAUP, the AAUW, etc, as explained here. Meanwhile the full transcript from the oral arguments in front of McShane have now been posted here. Some excerpts:

Yes, super-cooled super-conducting 3 Tesla magnets, bodily fluids, and grants can be tools to do good research. But it’s surprising to see a university pay a lawyer to use them to denigrate other research methods. And I wonder how the Gates Foundation feels about being weaponized for use against faculty they don’t fund.

This was almost as funny and not as sad:

Actually it was Judge McShane who said this, not the clerk. And I’m sure he was glaring at Schill when he said it. Or at me.

More 11/4/2019 update, full letter text, pdf here:

October 31, 2019

Via E-mail (harbaugh@uoregon.edu)

Bill Harbaugh
UO Matters
c/o University of Oregon, Department of Economics
1285 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Re: UO Matters Article Dear Professor Harbaugh:

I represent Paula A. Barran and Barran Liebman LLP, and I am writing in response to the article published on UO Matters on October 17, 2019 titled “UO’s lawyer Paula Barran lied to Judge McShane about Freyd comparator’s grant” (the “Article”). The opinions expressed in the Article about the accuracy of Ms. Barran’s statement to the court are both incorrect and inflammatory. In fact, Ms. Barran’s statements were supported by and based upon the sworn declaration previously submitted to the court by Dr. Nicholas Allen. Calling Ms. Barran’s integrity into question in this manner and in light of the sworn witness declaration simply because you do not agree with the court’s ultimate conclusion does not advance the meaningful thought and discussion that the UO Matters site purports to promote.

UO Matters self-identifies as a registered institutionalized news media organization. As such, and based upon that public representation, it should hold itself to the journalistic standards expected from other media organizations. Ethical journalism requires authors to take responsibility for the accuracy of the work and ensure that they are not misrepresenting or oversimplifying the story or permitting their personal values to shape their reporting. Soc’y of Prof’l Journalists, SPJ Code of Ethics (rev. Sept. 6, 2014), https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp.

Ethical journalism further requires an author to continue to monitor their story and correct any inaccuracies that may emerge. Id. As discussed further below, the opinions expressed in the Article are inaccurate and must be corrected. I therefore respectfully request that the Article be retracted and removed from the UO Matters site.

If, however, you decline to do so, a copy of this letter should be posted to the site so that your readers can form their own opinions based on a fuller recitation of the facts and so that UO Matters can more closely comply with the ethical responsibilities expected of a news media organization.

I. The Facts

Ms. Barran and her firm Barran Liebman LLP were retained to defend the University of Oregon and Dean Hal Sadofsky against a lawsuit brought by Dr. Jennifer Freyd. Dr. Freyd’s lawsuit alleged several theories of gender discrimination based upon the fact that she received less total compensation than some of her male colleagues. In order to succeed on her claims, Dr. Freyd was required to show that she and her comparators do the same or substantially equal work and that she is comparing “like to like.” Dr. Freyd selected four (4) of her more highly-compensated, male colleagues as comparators, including Dr. Nicholas Allen. Dr. Freyd also called into question whether there were similarities or dissimilarities between her work and the work of her comparators—this legal comparison was not initiated by either the university or her colleagues.

Both the university’s and Dr. Freyd’s attorneys thoroughly briefed the legal issues and provided information to the court about Dr. Freyd’s job duties as compared to the comparators’. The parties provided information to the court about the comparators’ additional responsibilities, such as being a department head, director of a center, or director or member of a university-wide committee, employee supervision, and grant revenue and administration, as well as the effect of retention offers.

Dr. Allen submitted a declaration to the court on November 16, 2018, in which he stated:

Dr. Jennifer Freyd is a valued colleague, and I strongly support the University adopting policies and procedures that support and enhance gender equity in all areas of academic life. I am not in a position to have an informed view on my colleague’s specific litigation, but I understand that it may be beneficial to the court to have information about the nature, extent and scope of my day to day duties, responsibilities and accountabilities.

Decl. of Nicholas B. Allen in Support of Def.’s Univ. of Oregon and Sadofsky’s Mot. for Summ. J., Freyd v. Univ. of Oregon, No. 6:17-cv-00448-MC, Dkt. No. 59, at ¶ 2 (D. Or. Nov. 16, 2018). The declaration then described Dr. Allen’s grant work in the following way:

In terms of the specific research grants I hold, I have obtained or participated in obtaining funding for a 2018-22 research project on Mobile Assessment for the Prediction of Suicide, a grant in excess of $3 million from the National Institute of Child Health and Development for a study of Depressed Mothers’ Parenting (which began in 2015 and will run to 2020), a $2.7 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, on which I spoke as Co-Investigator with my University colleague, Jennifer Pfeifer, doing work on a longitudinal neuroimaging study related to early adolescent mental health. The grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on which I am Co-Investigator, is an award of $3.5 million to develop and test a learning investigation with a goal of promoting positive gender norm transformative social emotional learning in early adolescents. I have successfully completed a number of grant-funded projects and have developed the skills and experience to work successfully on large funded research projects.

Id. at ¶ 6 (emphasis added). In a subsequent filing made on behalf of Dr. Freyd, Dr. Allen confirmed to the court that “all the information in that declaration was factual.” Decl. of Nicholas B. Allen in Support of Pl.’s Mot. for Relief from J., Freyd v. Univ. of Oregon, No. 6:17-cv-00448- MC, Dkt. No. 59, at ¶ 2 (D. Or. Sept. 10, 2019).

The court heard oral argument on the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on April 12, 2019. During oral argument, Ms. Barran reiterated the importance of grants in funding both faculty compensation and research space and equipment. She also recognized that Dr. Freyd “is a good researcher, but her work is different” than some of the work being done by the comparators, including their meeting the requirements imposed by government funding sources. Ms. Barran then highlighted that Dr. Allen had received significant funding for his work, including “a $3 million grant from the Gates Foundation.” This statement was supported by and based on the information that had been provided to her by Dr. Allen and that Dr. Allen had sworn to in his declaration to the court.

The court ruled in favor of the university because the various laws under which Dr. Freyd based her claims require her to show that her day-to-day responsibilities are the same or substantially equal to those of the comparators that she identified. Freyd v. Univ. of Oregon, No. 6:17-cv-00448- MC, Dkt. No. 93, at pp. 10–11 (D. Or. May 2, 2019). The additional responsibilities associated with grant applications, receipt, and management were among several factors considered by the court, and the court’s comparisons between Dr. Freyd on one hand and the comparators (including Dr. Allen) on the other, relied upon the information in the sworn declarations that had been submitted into the court’s record. Id.

Dr. Allen later sent a letter in support of Dr. Freyd’s appeal stating that he personally believes that a different methodology should be used to determine faculty compensation. Decl. of Nicholas Allen, Ex. 1, Freyd v. Univ. of Oregon, No. 6:17-cv-00448-MC, Dkt. No. 109-1 (D. Or. Oct. 25, 2019). The letter was also submitted to the district court in support of a motion filed by Dr. Freyd’s attorneys for relief from judgment. Id. The district court considered Dr. Allen’s letter, noted that Dr. Allen reaffirmed the factual accuracy of his original declaration, determined that receiving the letter earlier would not have changed the disposition of the case, and affirmed its grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Opinion and Order, Freyd v. Univ. of Oregon, No. 6:17-cv- 00448-MC, Dkt. No. 114 (D. Or. Oct. 25, 2019).

II. Copyright Infringement

The Article includes a screenshot of Ms. Barran’s profile on the Barran Liebman LLP website. Barran Liebman LLP has copyrighted the material on its site and does not grant UO Matters the right to use its copyrighted material. If Barran Liebman LLP’s copyrighted material has not been removed from the UO Matters site within five (5) days, my clients will file a DMCA Takedown Notice.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss my demands and requests further, please contact me at Peter.Jarvis@hklaw.com or (503) 243-5877.

Sincerely yours,


Peter R. Jarvis


cc: Clients (via email)

Peter R. Jarvis

+1 503-243-5877 Peter.Jarvis@hklaw.com

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