Arena and Bellotti state audits and hearings

5/22/2010: Rachel Bachmann in the Oregonian reports on two legislative hearings regarding UO: Democratic State Senator Rick Metsger will investigate allegations from union groups that money from the $200 million state bond sale for arena construction has been spent illegally, and

…, the House Education Committee will hold a separate hearing at 8 a.m. Monday to address issues of Bellotti’s buyout. Most hearings can be viewed online at www.leg.state.or.us/listn. At the 1 p.m. arena hearing, Williams and a university representative are expected to testify, and representatives from the secretary of state’s office will report on the progress of an arena-project audit they launched last month.

correct link for feed is here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/committees/

Lariviere’s investiture ceremony

5/21/2010: Emma Kallaway gave a very good speech. His PhD advisor showed up, so this must be a big deal. So did an amazingly large faculty contingent. Good vibes, and not just from the tuba and drums. It was damn good speech. He explained his passionate commitment to public higher education, and he made clear he has the brains and energy to deliver on it. Yeah, I know I’m being a total suckup.

Martinez resigns as UO’s Vice President for Diversity …

5/21/2010: … any day now. Because when you have been a VP for 5 years and you are still wasting your colleagues’ time with desperate emails about how “transformative change has been seeded”, it’s just a matter of when, not if:

May 20, 2010

To: Deans and Directors

From: Charles Martinez, vice president, Institutional Equity and Diversity

Subject: 2010 Diversity Profile statistics show areas of growth

Since the adoption of the University of Oregon Diversity Plan in 2006, transformative change has been seeded and advanced by the efforts across our colleges, schools and administrative units. … 

Tenure problems, double dipping, no affirmative action for your VP job, no affirmative action for your Associate Professor job, years of wasted time, $220,000 a year to waste millions of dollars in state money and nothing to show for it after 5 years but 1,187 pages of plans. Go back to OSLC or the College of Education. This is an important job, stop wasting our time. Resign and let UO have an open affirmative action compliant search and find someone who can do things, not just push paper in circles.

Socialist Worker’s Party attacks Lariviere plan, Oregonian supports it.

5/20/2010: The official organ of the Socialist Worker’s Party opposes Lariviere’s restructuring plan. I’d been waiting for them to weigh in. The Oregonian, on the other hand, is much more positive (this is from 5/15, not sure how I missed it – thanks, anonymous UO administration person.)

… But what isn’t acceptable is to fall back on the status quo. There is no reason, none, to believe that Oregon’s system of higher education as it is now structured is going to get the infusion of support that it needs to survive and flourish. Higher ed in Oregon has been waiting decades for its ship to come in. It’s not coming. … Oregon’s faculty salaries and financial aid for students are far below comparable universities. … Maybe there are other, better ways to strengthen Oregon’s public university system. But as Richard Lariviere responds to everyone who challenges his proposal, “Do you have a better idea?”

You know how editorials work, right? Lariviere goes up to Portland, meets with the editorial staff, and makes his pitch. They ask questions, they decide what their opinion is and they write it up. Their opinion is now that UO faculty are underpaid. Oh yeah, on the way back to Eugene Lariviere stops at some middle school in Woodburn and meets with the low SES kids to talk up college. I don’t even know where the hell Woodburn is. But now UO has a bunch of friends there too. So, the official UO Matters opinion on Lariviere? This guy is earning his paycheck.

Interview w/ Lariviere in Willamette Week

5/19/2010: An entertaining and educational exchange on education and entertainment:

What’s the proper role of athletics in public education?
Athletics is…. You’re buying into the—that’s the Lady Gaga syndrome.
How so?
It’s entertainment, and I’m very grateful that we have that vehicle to get our name and our mission out. But it’s entertainment. It’s not education. It’s not research. It’s not pedagogy. It’s entertainment. Now we get 500 kids educated every year as a result of that. And one could have all kinds of conversations about whether that’s an equitable compensation, but it is not why we’re here.

More on Dr. Martinez’s highly unusual tenure case

5/18/2010: Is tenure at UO for faculty or for administrators? The Academic Affairs website says:

Only faculty members with regular appointments at half-time or more (.50 full-time equivalent or FTE) at the ranks of instructor, senior instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor can be considered for tenure. 

We’ve now learned from official UO public records that Diversity Vice President Dr. Charles Martinez was given tenure in spring 2009, effective fall. He has held an 0.75 FTE officer of administration (OA) appointment since 2005. Going by the official records he did not have *any* appointment on the UO personnel list as instructor, senior instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor at the time he was given tenure. Not even an “on leave” appointment. For that matter, given his 0.75 OA FTE, he could not have had the required 0.5 faculty FTE, even ignoring his 0.65 FTE off campus OSLC job. From what we can tell he last taught in 2005.

Look at the top of Dr. Martinez’s OA contract below, signed in 2009: It says Non-Tenure-Related and No Rank (emphasis added). Look at his other contracts, going back to 2005. Same. From what we can tell, Martinez’s last faculty appointment was in 2005, and it is not even clear if that appointment was tenure-track.

Academic Affairs VP Russ Tomlin and Provost Jim Bean have some more explaining to do. We have heard, however, that they have ditched their plan to promote him to full professor this spring, but only after some pressure.

Update: Diversity VP Charles Martinez – another verbal agreement.

5/18/2010 update: After a 2 year delay Dr. Martinez has now written up a description of his job duties, and he’s even posted it online. Now we just need to get President Lariviere to post it on the UO jobs site, and UO can have an open Affirmative Action compliant search for the position of Vice President for Diversity. Thanks Charles!

5/5/2010: UO does have a document showing how much we pay Diversity VP Charles Martinez, but there is no written contract spelling out what job duties he must perform in return for his pay (and his very unusual $23,306 annual stipend – which he takes as extra income.)

I asked Melinda Grier / Doug Park for his job description back in September. See below. I’ve now been told that UO is finally writing one. After the Bellotti scandal, a lot of things need to get cleaned up. Or maybe swept under the rug. Apparently his new written contract will ignore his double dipping off campus at OSLC, and will not require an open affirmative action compliant search for his position.

That’s right, at UO you can be the 0.75 time Vice President for Diversity also while holding a second 0.625 time job off campus, and without ever going through a public AA compliant open search. No affirmative action search for the Diversity Vice President. Before this, Martinez was the Diversity Vice Provost. No AA search then either. Before that, Martinez was the Interim Diversity Vice Provost. No AA search then either. Never.

And they will not even write out the job description, list the requirements for the position, or spell out the job duties. How about criteria for performance evaluations? You joker you. Looks like Martinez’s take is about $220,000 a year. Where do I sign up for these deals? Oh, wait, they’re verbal! I get it, bummer.

President Lariviere said about the Bellotti scandal: “This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated under my administration.” It seemed like he was serious. Any guesses on what will happen with Martinez?
 
No UO job description:

From: “General Counsel” gcounsel@uoregon.edu
Date: Sep 28, 2009 2:49:22 PDT
To: X
Subject: RE: public records request, Martinez exemption letter

Dear Professor X:

The only public records we have been able to locate that are responsive to your request for documents “describing OIED VP Charles Martinez’s current job responsibilities” may be found at http://oied.uoregon.edu/staff/dr-charles-martinez-jr.  The University is waiving the costs associated with responding to this public records request.

Sincerely,

University of Oregon
Office of the General Counsel

UO $ appointment:



Second OSLC Job:


statutory faculty assembly meeting Wednesday, May 19th

4:00-5:30pm, 150 Columbia

The purpose of the meeting is to consider a motion to approve the revised internal governance document necessitated by a Department of Justice opinion dated 11/7/08 concerning the structure of shared governance at the University of Oregon. The agenda for the meeting and the text of the motion under consideration are now posted at http://int-gov.uoregon.edu/.

UO Athlete fights NCAA for his rights

5/18/2010: Here’s an interesting article by Duck tight end and UO business school student David Paulson, on CNBC. He writes about a lawsuit arguing that the NCAA should not be able to use a player’s likeness after graduation without permission and compensation. 

The current situation is essentially indentured servitude: the NCAA has set it up so no player earns anything beyond subsistence, the universities are lucky to break even, and the coaches get all the profits. Those coaches know how to work a scam! But the NCAA is pushing it with the argument that they forever own the rights to the players’ likenesses. Mr. Paulson writes a good article, with many surprising facts and arguments:

Ed O’Bannon decided it was time for someone to stand up to the NCAA when his friend showed him a video game that featured him and his UCLA team. “My friend said, ‘The funny thing about this is you didn’t get paid,’ ” O’Bannon recalls. “He laughed pretty good and I just sat there thinking, ‘Wow, that’s true.’ My reaction was a little bit of embarrassment, but I was also disappointed that no one told me that they were going to be using my likeness to make this video game. They never sent me any paperwork. I didn’t release my face or my likeness.”

It seems like the NCAA doesn’t want anyone using a players’ name to make money besides them. For instance a college athlete cannot even use his name to run a football camp to make some extra money. It doesn’t seem fair that the NCAA is the only one with rights to make money off of college athletes. I think some changes need to be made to give some of the rights back to the players. 

This will be a long fight, once this principle is established there will be a large increase in the income of college football players and an offsetting fall in the coaches’ take. I’d love to hear Howard Slusher on it!

The full Bellotti:

5/17/2010: President Larivere fired Melinda Grier almost 4 weeks ago. He didn’t let her resign or give her a golden parachute. He fired her and immediately took away her job responsibilities. This is almost unheard of. She had been Dave Frohnmayer’s General Counsel for 12 years, and Lariviere’s for 10 months. From Greg Bolt’s RG article:

Lariviere said the move is being made “without cause.” He declined to comment on whether the change is related to the dust-up surrounding former athletic director Mike Bellotti or complaints about the university’s handling of public records.

Two weeks ago, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger released this 5 page report on Associate AG David Leith’s investigation of the Mike Bellotti payoff. It concludes Grier provided “deficient legal representation” to UO regarding the Bellotti contract, and raised other issues as well.

As the cover letter below notes, this summary was released publicly at the request of Lariviere. We have asked Kroger to also release the details of the report, and the documents collected during the DOJ investigation. We’ve been told is that the investigation took 321.8 hours and cost the DOJ $44,086.60, not counting the time for David Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys in charge. Obviously there was a lot of work that is not reflected in the 5 page summary. This should be public.

There are a lot of weird rumors flying around campus about why Grier was fired. Maybe the DOJ’s full report will give a definitive answer, maybe not. And maybe Kroger and Lariviere will decide we are just not worthy to know what really happened.

Who needs college?

5/15/2010: The NY Times points out that many students would be better served with something less than a traditional 4 year degree.

“Roast Duck” responds in our comments:

The NYT article about alternatives to college is a bit misleading. Forget that some of the principals — Richard Vedder, Charles Murray — are skeptical (Murray) to bitterly hateful (Vedder, who discovered his hatred of higher education after decades at Ohio U. as an econ prof) about higher ed.

The Obama proposals to increase the number of US “college grads” to the level of Canada include community college associate degrees and even 1-year certifications in vocational fields (which e.g. LCC offers in many areas). It would require raising the minority completion rate to the white level. A tall order, to be sure, but if we can’t do it, what is the future of the country?

Of course, 4-year college is not for everyone. I would be the first to say raise admissions standards, and especially, raise performance standards once students are enrolled. Get rid of the bottom 20% at UO, the complete goofballs, and it would be a much better place.

But without some kind of post-secondary higher education — 4-year college, CC, or vocational — most kids are going to be screwed. Meaning all of us!

Lariviere’s plan

5/15/2010: Two news reports about Pres Lariviere’s reform plan. Ted Sickinger of the Oregonian’s story could not be much more negative, ending on this note:

But neither sitting state Treasurer Ted Wheeler nor his Democratic opponent in Tuesday’s election, Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, appear supportive of using the state’s borrowing capacity to fund stock market speculation.

“I am interested in ideas to create stable funding for higher education, but I am skeptical of using long-term debt to cover operating expenses,” Wheeler said Friday. “Debt is more appropriate for funding capital projects.”

Some call it speculation, some call it investment:

“It’s a trade-off of risk,” said John Chalmers, a UO finance professor who worked on the plan. “We’re trading political risk for investment risk, and we can plan for investment risk. That’s what endowments do.”

Greg Bolt in the RG focuses on the political aspects:

And, as challenging as the financing side of the proposal is, it is the governance issues that could prove the hardest sell in Salem. The plan takes away both the Legislature’s ability to control the university by holding the purse strings and its direct authority over tuition and most other aspects of university management, giving that instead to an appointed board of trustees.

Legislators have never shown much appetite for surrendering those powers. For at least the past five legislative sessions, the Oregon University System has proposed major changes in its relationship with the state that were less comprehensive than what is in the UO’s current proposal, and few ever were approved.

Well this has certainly succeeded in making everyone’s agenda clear – we’ll see what happens next.  The white paper is at the official UO website here, there are a few comments there already.

Give this man more UO money to waste:

5/13/2010: As you can imagine, Charles Martinez’s 0.65 time job off campus at OSLC doesn’t leave him a lot of time to do his 0.75 time job as UO’s Vice President for Diversity. This is why UO has never produced a written job description or had a public AA search – might raise too many questions about what we’re getting for the $140,000 we pay to top off his $82,000 from OSLC, or whether this arrangement is legal.

But that’s old news. Now apparently Martinez has been complaining to President Lariviere about being overworked. So UO has agreed to hire him yet another helper – I think this makes 5? What is your budget now Charles? What do you actually do? When?

From UO’s jobs website:

Strategic Communications Specialist, Institutional Equity and Diversity

The Strategic Communications Specialist has major responsibility in planning and implementing strategic communications for the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, providing specialized knowledge in methods of communication to diverse audiences. In order to strategically tell the story of diversity on campus on behalf of OIED, this position works in cooperation with the Office of Communications and with leaders in OIED to shape and implement strategic messaging priorities for the university, specifically for OIED. This position requires the exercise of independent judgment and the ability to support and provide expertise to the office as well as receive general supervision from the Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity and his designated staff.

This position is the lead marketing and communication strategist for the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and is responsible for providing resources and materials that aid in facilitating community relations and corporate and private giving as related to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

This position obtains cost estimates and advises on expenses for suggested projects and commitments related to communications efforts. There is no budgeting authority. The position reports directly to the Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Level of Appointment: .5 F.T.E.

Term of Contract: This position is funded for one year with renewal contingent upon availability of funds.

Salary Range: $26-32K Commensurate with relevant experience and education. ($52-64K full time annual equivalent)

Starting Date: May 24, 2010

Senate union survey (w/ update from Senate)

5/14/2010: The union organizers are saying that it was possible to make multiple responses to the Senate Exec Committee poll via the email link that was sent, so long as you used computers with different IP addresses, and that this is one reason they discount the results. (My own faculty poll did not allow this.)

In response the Senate folks tell us:

“it is true that multiple responses could have been submitted by the same person if different computers with different IP addresses were used. This caveat was included in the cover letter sent out with the survey results. We trusted the honesty and good will of our colleagues not to subvert the survey by submitting multiple responses, and we have no evidence that this occurred or that the survey results were skewed as a result.”

We now have results from two polls on the union. Both have their faults but both find clear overall opposition from the faculty. The union claims they have their own polls, finding lots of support. But they will not show us the results. Presumably they wouldn’t be funding this expensive campaign without some hope, but I don’t see what it is.