Remember the Hat Day: November 21

2018: Is UO better off now than it was in 2011? Better off than if Kitzhaber hadn’t fired Lariviere? Better off with our independent Board of Trustees? I don’t know. The Board has not delivered yet.

I do know that I continue to be amazed and inspired by how then Senate President Rob Kyr and the faculty, students, and UO supporters handled Lariviere’s firing and the subsequent chaos.

2017:  I think nostalgia for Lariviere peaked under Mike Gottfredson, and has fallen to historical lows under Mike Schill. Here’s the post from 2015, with a few updates:


Break out your hats and mark the day. On November 21st 2011, three four five six years and four five UO presidents ago, OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner and Board Chair Matt Donegan came down to UO with their ultimatum and told Lariviere to resign, for trying to implement his “New Partnership” plan to combine $1B in state bonds and $800M in private donations to create a sustainable funding model for UO, run by an independent UO Board. The endowment income would have, in theory, produced enough income to more than replace the state’s annual appropriations, and have allowed UO to keep in-state tuition low.

He also ignored the governor’s call for a pay freeze, and passed out a round of secret raises to faculty and staff. Lariviere refused to leave, so they fired him, on instructions from Governor Kitzhaber. Nigel Jaquiss broke the news on the 22nd.

Six years later, where are the principals in this sad event?

UO President Richard Lariviere: Now president of Chicago’s Field Museum, and apparently well on his way to completing a turnaround of that troubled institution.

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Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber: Resigned after getting caught trying to destroy his email archives, and found guilty of violations of Oregon ethics law.

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OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner: Still living at Treetops and using Oregon students’ tuition money to pay for his kids’ maid service. Just kidding, the croissant chancellor went on to a $300K sinecure as president of SHEEO, a little known non-profit higher ed policy group in Colorado. He’s now retired from that, and is on the board at Bridgeport, a scandal ridden for-profit university system.

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OUS Board Chair Matt Donegan: After a very nasty divorce he sold his timber business, then sent out some feelers on restarting his political career. The response was not good, and he’s dropped out of public life to work on counting his money.

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(Bridget Burns and Chuck Triplett at the 2011 Mac Court meeting.)

OUS Board Secretary Chuck Triplett: Triplett’s role in setting up the secret discussions that led to the board’s decision to fire Lariviere may never be fully known, unless I can get my hands on the OUS digital email archives. Meanwhile he has parlayed his $72K job for Pernsteiner into a $130K job for UO, and then a promotion from Scott Coltrane. All without an affirmative action compliant search. He’s currently JH liason to the UO Senate – an appointment made without consulting the Senate with which he is supposed to liase. He’s currently UO liason to the HECC, the putative replacement to OUS.

Pernsteiner’s Chief of Staff Bridget Burns: She and Triplett were quite the team. After OUS collapsed she set up a consulting business, which just got a $9.8M grant from the DoE. According to her website,

… she led the successful legislative effort to free Oregon’€™s seven universities from state agency status, for which she received the national award for innovation in government relations from colleagues spanning the national higher education landscape at AASCU, APLU, AACC, and CASE.

Wow, and to think Mark Haas and Mike Gottfredson have been claiming all the credit for SB 270.

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UO Senate President, Protector and Defender of the University, Slayer of Chancellors, and Professor of Music Robert Kyr: “Mr. Pernsteiner, answer the question as a human being would answer it.”

Kyr is now back at his regular job, composing and teaching music theory.

Provost Banavar appoints members to CAS analysis task force

The original timeline is here. Two of the 22 members are UO Senators, elected by the Senate CAS Caucus. Karen Ford, chair of the task force, has agreed that the UO Senate should vote on any reorganization of CAS.

Sent on behalf of Provost Jayanth Banavar


Dear Colleagues,

President Michael Schill and I are pleased to announce the membership of the task force that will be analyzing the structure of the University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to determine if the combination of disciplines is best suited to deliver on our mission of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and creative work.

Last month, we informed the university community that we were creating the task force and charging it with looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the current structure of CAS, particularly in relation to possible other structures (e.g., two colleges or three colleges). Part of that discussion will include an examination of the current internal CAS structure, the relative advantages and disadvantages of the structure, and determining whether we have the most effective organization to meet our liberal arts mission.

The task force also will be asked to determine whether changes relating to other schools or colleges at UO might make sense in the context of the issues being examined. In other words, are there benefits to having some parts of CAS more tied to any of the professional schools, or vice versa?

To arrive at the membership, we solicited input from across the university and many people made recommendations that influenced our final decision. We appreciate all the feedback and are grateful to those who have volunteered their time on this important endeavor.

The task force members are:

Elliot Berkman, CAS, Natural Sciences, Psychology, Associate Professor
Tina Boscha, CAS, Humanities, English, Senior Instructor
Melissa Bowers, CAS, Humanities, English, (OA) Department Manager
Ben Brinkley, CASIT, (OA) Director
Karen Ford, CAS (Task Force Chair), Humanities, English, Senior Divisional Dean and Professor
Pedro García-Caro, CAS, Humanities, Romance Languages, Associate Professor
Spike Gildea, CAS, Humanities, Linguistics, Professor
Monica Guy, CAS, Humanities, Environmental Studies, (OA) Office Manager
Bruce McGough, CAS, Social Sciences, Economics, Professor/Department Head
Betsy McLendon, CAS Advisory Board member
Juan-Carlos Molleda, School of Journalism and Communication, Professor of Communications/Dean
Gabe Paquette, Clark Honors College, Professor of History and International Studies/Dean
Craig Parsons, CAS, Social Sciences, Political Science, Professor/Department Head
Mike Price, CAS, Natural Sciences, Math, Senior Instructor
Tyrone Russ, CASIT, (Classified Staff) Buyer
Brad Shelton, Office of the Provost, Natural Sciences, Math, Executive Vice Provost
Janelle Stevenson, CAS, Natural Sciences, Biology, Graduate Student
Joe Sventek, CAS, Natural Sciences, Computer & Information Science, Professor/Department Head
Richard Taylor, CAS, Natural Sciences, Physics, Professor/Department Head
Frances White, CAS, Social Sciences, Anthropology, Professor/Department Head
Rocío Zambrana, CAS, Humanities, Philosophy, Associate Professor
Undergraduate Student, TBD (invitation pending)

Teri Rowe, the department manager for Economics and Sociology, will provide staff support to the task force.

As you can see, we have a robust, experienced, and capable group who will work together for this analysis. We expect the analysis to include discussions about whether we are maximizing organizational design to achieve and grow academic excellence, whether any changes to the current design would weaken current advantages or mitigate existing problems, whether changes would impact interdisciplinary work and collaboration, how changes might impact (positively or negatively) various departments and disciplines, structural/administrative issues relative to the current or a new structure, and other relevant issues.

The task force will begin its work this fall. As we move forward, it’s critical for all of us to support the effort in a positive and constructive way. We have heard a variety of thoughts and theories about why we have organized a task force: a branding effort or a cost saving effort; an attempt to drive institutional resources to the Knight Campus; or simply an effort to boost certain disciplines by abandoning others. These are simply untrue.

The fundamental premise is: What structure will allow us to best deliver on our goal of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and creative work?

Meetings of the task force will be open to the public, and we will give regular updates on the group’s progress on the provost’s website and through other communications. You are always welcome to share thoughts, questions, and ideas through

Sincerely, Jayanth Banavar Provost and Senior Vice President

Univ pays $35K to bail from Foundation’s appeal of public records decision

That would be the University of New Mexico. Daniel Libit has the story here:


By Daniel Libit

The University of New Mexico continues to run up a tab for its anti-transparency past.

As part of a recent settlement agreement, the school has agreed to pay $35,000 of my legal fees in order to be dismissed as a defendant in a public records lawsuit I filed against the UNM Foundation.

You can read the full agreement here.

In May, Judge Nancy Franchini ruled in favor of my lawsuit, which contends that the UNM Foundation should be subject to the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, even though it is established as a separate, non-profit organization. The Foundation, which is not a part to the settlement, is appealing Franchini’s ruling.

The suit was filed last year after the Foundation refused to turn over financial records and internal emails related to the WisePies naming-rights agreement for University Arena.

The University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents was named as a co-defendant, since it is the body that established and has ultimate control over the UNM Foundation. The lawsuit alleges that the Foundation “is an arm” of the University, as codified in a Memorandum of Agreement between the two entities.

Grad student union unequivocally condemns University for hosting speaker

Turning Point is a well-funded right-wing agit-prop group that regularly tries to get me to repost links to their poorly written and researched stories about left-wing agit-prop professors, e.g. a recent one about the fact that no UO faculty give money to Republican candidates. (The $5K that Chuck Lillis gave to Ben Carson doesn’t count, since Lillis is just a trustee.)

Even worse, they didn’t cite my earlier, seminal work on this. Desk reject. I tell them that I’ll repost their stuff if they’ll add me to their Professor Watchlist of dangerously liberal faculty, which would give me some street cred with the faculty, but I think they’re on to me.

TP sponsors a UO student group, which brought a speaker to campus Friday. The Daily Emerald has the story here:

… Cabot said that it is hard to stay conservative on campus with social and academic pressures, but those who are end up more informed politically. He said he worries that liberal students are not being exposed to ideas from all areas of the political spectrum.

“When [liberal students] do finally hear conservative ideas, they don’t know how to handle them,” Cabot said.

As is demonstrated by this op-ed from the GTFF grad student union exec committee, here:

The elected leadership of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation unequivocally condemns the University’s hosting of Cabot Phillips’s “Liberal Privilege” tour. For over forty years, the GTFF has committed itself to fostering an environment of academic freedom, rigorous debate, and the life of the mind for graduate employees and the wider campus community. Phillips and his associated organizations “Campus Reform” and “Turning Point USA” are only interested in cheap political theater at the expense of UO’s students and employees, not good-faith exploration of political ideas. …

For the record, I hope this means that GTFF is not going to be engaging in cheap political theater by chanting and drumming all over campus next time they go on strike.

Salary equity adjustments update, Freyd lawsuit, UO lawyers “blame it on the union” again

Two interesting processes are coming to a head soon.

First is the lawsuit by Prof Jennifer Freyd alleging UO underpaid her for years, despite the pleas of her department head to the CAS associate dean, and the conclusions of an external review committee. See my “Nevertheless she persisted” post here. UO has a team of lawyers and Pres Schill has another team from a different law firm, plus of course GC Kevin Reed, thought it’s often hard to figure out exactly whose interests he represents.

Discovery is finally complete, and Freyd’s lawyers have filed their revised complaint, here. A snippet:

The full docket is here, now with responses from UO and Pres Schill’s lawyers. And yes, of course they’re still trying to “blame it on the union:”

This is bullshit and the administration and their lawyers know it. The CBA raises are floors, not ceilings, and the union has repeatedly told the administration that they are free to give additional raises, subject only to the requirement that they tell the union about such raises annually.


Then there is the joint administration/union effort to analyze TTF salaries and identify gender and racial disparities and correct them. Having been part of the committee that selected the contractor, I have to say that I was not impressed by their description of the statistical methods they would use to do this or the more touchy-feely methods they’d then use to determine any adjustments. But in any case they’ve finally ran some regressions, and there’s some process to take some action:

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this year and in response to a memorandum of understanding with United Academics, the Office of the Provost launched a tenure-track faculty equity study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether salary inequities exist for tenure-track and tenured faculty that are related to gender, race, or ethnicity.

To provide advice and counsel to the external consultants running the study and ensure faculty input, the provost formed a work group that includes five tenure-track faculty members, including two nominated by United Academics, the executive vice provost, the vice president for finance and administration and CFO, the senior director for employee and labor relations, and the director of institutional research. As the group continues its work, I want to provide you with more information about this important initiative and share next steps with the project.

Our consultant, Berkley Research Group, LLC, is working with the project work group to run faculty salary regression analyses that include factors such as academic rank, work experience, education level, tenure status, department, and demographics to determine whether any significant patterns of salary discrepancy appear to exist related to gender or race. The analyses also identify individuals whose salaries are significantly lower than the regression factors would predict. Further investigation will be done on an individual basis for identified faculty members to determine whether other non-discriminatory factors not in the regression analyses (e.g. performance reviews, level of grant activity, years of prior service) explain the variance, or whether salary adjustments should be recommended.

This salary equity project is expected to extend into 2019 as we continue the data review and assessment. Periodic updates will be provided as progress is made. We will share more information about the results of the study as they become available, including recommendations made to the provost. The provost is ultimately charged with making final determinations with respect to the equity study.

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members with salary differences that are not explained by other factors may receive an equity adjustment from the negotiated 2019 0.75% equity fund pool. Salary increases provided from that pool will be retroactive to January 1, 2019. If there are funds remaining in the equity pool after equity decisions are made, those funds will be applied as an additional across-the-board increase to all TTF.

The Office of the Provost will continue to provide periodic updates on the progress of the project, as well as a final report. You can learn more about the salary equity study and monitor our progress on the Office of the Provost website, including an overview of the methods applied in the study.

It is important to note that a faculty member with concerns about their individual salary can always contact the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance (OICRC), formerly the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, to discuss their concerns. That option is available now and will continue to be available after the equity study is completed. We encourage employees who believe their pay has been impacted by prohibited discrimination to contact OICRC.

Your patience as we conduct a thorough and thoughtful study is greatly appreciated. The university is committed to attracting and retaining talented faculty through fair compensation practices. This equity study is critical to fulfilling that commitment. If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Provost at

Best regards,

Scott Pratt
Executive Vice Provost

Still no news on CAS recombination task force.

10/16/2018: It’s now three months since CAS Dean Andrew Marcus announced his resignation, over policy differences with the President and Provost, and almost 2 months since they announced a task force to study potential CAS reorganization.

On Oct 31 the Senate’s CAS Caucus elected two senators to the CAS recombination task force: Pedro Garcia-Caro (RL) and Karen White (Anthropology).

But there’s still no news from the administration as to who will fill the remaining 19 slots. If you know anything more please post a comment.

9/24/2018: Provost Banavar appoints Bruce Blonigen to lead CAS, and Karen Ford to work on whether or not to split it up

The August 17th post about Dean Marcus’s resignation is here.

Sent on behalf of Provost Jayanth Banavar Continue reading

DeVos issues Title IX rules

Update: The WaPo has more here.

From InsideHigherEd:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a proposed rule Friday that would revamp expectations for colleges’ handling of campus-based sexual misconduct.

The regulation — the first the federal government has issued on the matter — was crafted to clarify requirements for colleges and to add due process protections for accused students.

But women’s groups and advocates for survivors of sexual assault warn that it will undermine the rights of victims. And they say it will let colleges off the hook for not taking the issue of sexual misconduct seriously.

Read more about the new rules here.

I haven’t looked, comments and links welcome.

Office of Resilience used CAS faculty as unwitting, unpaid test subjects for consulting company

Unpaid isn’t quite the right word though. Apparently Le Duc paid the consultants. This is nuts. Chief Resilience Officer Andre Le Duc:

… The project we are doing with CAS is a pilot project designed to test the tool at a US university.  Resilient Organizations has been using the benchmark tool in New Zealand and Australia for nearly a decade. …

Prof Michael Hames-Garcia had this to say to Resilient Organizations, Ltd:

From: MHG <>
Date: Thursday, 8 November 2018 at 10:44 AM
To: Kaylene Sampson <>
Subject: Re: Reminder: We want your opinion

I won’t be replying to this [survey request] because it is the most absurd waste of time and money I have ever seen at this university. I know all of my colleagues feel similarly.


While “absurd” was not one of the allowable survey responses in the 12 pages of questions I managed to get through, Michael seems to have struck a nerve with the consultant:

From: Kaylene Sampson <
Sent: November 7, 2018 1:48:30 PM PST
To: MHG <>
Subject: Re: Reminder: We want your opinion

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your feedback. [see below]. It’s unfortunate that you view the efforts of the office of Safety and Risk Services in such a light. I can assure you that the College is not funding this project, but rather it is being run from the budget of that office – I’d be happy to connect you with the right people to speak to, in order to clarify that, should you wish to do so.

In the meantime, we would still value your opinion. It’s important that all views are captured, and it seems like you have some strong ones that are equally as valid.

Thanks for your time,

Kaylene Sampson, Senior Research Consultant, w:

So LeDuc’s office is paying these consultants *and* allowing them to use us as their guinea pigs? Wow. In any case I’ve filed a complaint with the UO’s Internal Auditor, asking her to look into the potential conflicts of interest with this survey and provide guidance on how to avoid this in the future. I received this response:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for following up.  I do acknowledge receipt of the email below.  Our office’s process for investigation is to first identify criteria (gain an understanding of policies, procedures, laws, etc. that identify the expectation for how a process should work).  We also gain an understanding of what is actually happening and report on the gaps.  Any areas where there is no criteria, we still try to apply the ‘best practice’ approach to provide guidance to the unit.  Hope this helps.


Trisha Burnett, CPA, CIA, CFE, Chief Auditor | Office of Internal Audit

What is Internal Audit? Check out this message from President Schill:

10/23/2018: Chief Resiliency Officer Andre Le Duc has too much money

Today I and all other CAS employees got an email from some consultant in NZ asking me to respond to a “CAS Resiliency Survey.” I ignored this, until getting a follow-up email from CAS, at which point I clicked on the link. This was a mistake.

This survey, commissioned by UO Associate VP and Chief Resiliency Officer Andre Le Duc, is a bureaucratic classic. I confess that I’ve only answered about 100 of the questions so far. Even with random clicks it’s a serious time commitment. There are a lot of boxes, none particularly relevant to CAS or UO. Le Duc won’t spend his time writing thoughtful questions, but he will ask you to spend yours answering pointless ones.

So I thought I’d take a break and post my response to the only written question:

Women department chairs matter

While the empirical evidence that VP’s for Diversity, 5-year IDEAL plans, mandatory implicit bias training, and expensive “Diversity Action Plans” like we have at UO make any difference is at best mixed, this new paper – from a new Princeton economist – makes it pretty clear that having a female department chair does matter:

Appointing female managers is a common proposal to improve women’s representation and outcomes in the workplace, but it is unclear how well such policies accomplish these goals. I study the effect of female managers on workforce composition, the gender pay gap, productivity, and promotion in the context of academic departments. Using newly-collected panel data, I exploit variation in the timing of transitions between male and female department chairs with a difference-in-differences research design. I find female department chairs reduce gender gaps in publications and tenure for assistant professors and shrink the gender pay gap. Replacing a male chair with a female chair also increases the number of female students among incoming graduate cohorts by ten percent with no evidence of a change in ability correlates for the average student.