UO Board Trustee Susan Gary (Law) offers helpful tips for talking with UO Trustees

3/2/2015 update:  No word on whether or not BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelm will tear down that wall of PR flack tables separating the Trustees from the university community during this Thursday and Friday’s meetings, but it’s a good sign that 20 months into their term in office, the Board is willing to meet with faculty. I’m on the list, so Wilhelm’s assistant Amanda Hatch can’t have been screening people too carefully:

MEMORANDUM

March 3, 2015

TO: Individuals Attending Faculty/Trustee Discussions

FROM: Susan Gary, Faculty Trustee

RE: Thoughts on the March 6 Discussions

Thank you for your willingness and interest in participating in the discussions with UO trustees this
Friday, March 6, at 8:00 AM.  These conversations will give the trustees a great opportunity to learn
more about the faculty – what we do, our strengths and the challenges we face.  I thought it would be
helpful to provide some ideas about conversation topics, although these are not restrictive.  You should
feel free to discuss any issues of concern to you, and the trustees may have questions they want to ask.
The conversations will evolve, as conversations do.

Our initial target size was 10 faculty members and three trustees per group.  Given the number of
people who expressed interest, we can accommodate everyone if we increase the group size to 11, so
that is what we have decided to do.  I think 11 should be fine; if you would prefer to wait until June (we
plan to have more discussions then), please let Amanda Hatch know and we can save your information.

The trustees will want to hear from everyone, so please be courteous with respect to time so that
everyone can have a chance to speak.  It’s a conversation, so multiple short comments will likely be
better than one long comment per person.

Here are suggested topics for discussion that I brainstormed.  I use “faculty” to include both TTF and
NTTF because most topics apply to both, although sometimes in different ways.

Faculty classifications.
– What do the classifications of faculty as TTF and NTTF – mean?  (and NTRF and Library faculty if
someone can speak to those categories)
– What roles do different faculty members play?

– What is the promotion process like for TTF and NTTF?

Teaching.
– What contributes to teaching excellence?
– How much work goes into preparing a class?
– How do teachers keep their classes fresh?
– How does the Teaching Effectiveness Program work with faculty to improve teaching? (Have you
taken advantage of TEP and what has been the benefit?)
– How does research contribute to teaching?
– What are classroom conditions like – technology, class size, and configuration of classrooms?
– How do negative factors hinder teaching excellence – increases in class size, increased teaching
load?

Service.
– What kind of University and unit service do faculty do?
– What is the service work load and what types of service work do faculty do (admissions,
scholarships, curriculum, hiring, promotion and tenure, etc.)
– How does the level of service required affect teaching and scholarship?

Mentoring.
– How do faculty mentor students?
– Undergraduates? What kind of mentoring do undergrads need?  What are the
challenges/rewards of mentoring undergrads?
– Graduate students?  What is the relationship between an advisor and a
candidate?  How does advising a grad student work?
– How do faculty help students think about career options?

Research.
– What is the role of research for a TTF?
– What is the grant writing process like?
– What is the publication process like?
Masters or Ph.D.
– What synergies exist among the research, teaching and service obligations of faculty members?
– (Note: There is a lot to say about research, but this is an area the trustees have already had
some exposure to, so it may be good to focus on other topics.)

Unit structure.
– How do TTF and NTTF interact within units?
– How do units govern themselves?

University Senate.
– What role does the Senate play?  What role should the Senate play?
– Do faculty feel engaged with the Senate?

Online education.
This probably deserves a separate discussion when issues can be discussed more thoroughly – there is a
lot of work needed to develop a strategy – but someone may have particular insights to share.

2/25/2015 update: Ron Bramhall (Business) and faculty union VP for NTTFs, persuades the BOT’s sole Faculty Trustee, Susan Gary (Law), to invite NTTFs to meetings with Board members:

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Board of Trustees posts pre-redacted dockets for March 4-6 meetings.

While these are much more complete than in the past, and while the Board has helpfully abandoned its previous strategy of holding meetings when the students are away on break, Secretary Angela Wilhelms has pre-redacted some of the most potentially interesting info from the agenda (docket) links, saying it’s not ready yet, or will be passed out in dead-tree format at the meeting. In the past she’s done this because she didn’t want the public (or some board members) to find out what’s going on until the last minute when it’s too late to react. From http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings.

Alexandra Wallachly has some info in an Emerald story here, and I’ll post more later. Meanwhile if you see – or don’t see – something interesting, please post a comment.

Presidential Factors Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Executive and Audit Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Meeting of the Board
March 5-6, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

State HECC to examine whether UO Board is transparent and accountable?

6/23/2015 update:

Oregon Law says:

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES WITH A GOVERNING BOARD

      352.025 Legislative findings. (1) The Legislative Assembly finds that the State of Oregon will benefit from having public universities with governing boards that:

(a) Provide transparency, public accountability and support for the university.
(b) Are close to and closely focused on the individual university.
(c) Do not negatively impact public universities that do not have governing boards.
(d) Lead to greater access and affordability for Oregon residents and do not disadvantage Oregon students relative to out-of-state students.
(e) Act in the best interests of both the university and the State of Oregon as a whole.
(f) Promote the academic success of students in support of the mission of all education beyond high school as described in ORS 351.009.
(2) The Legislative Assembly also finds that:
(a) Even with universities with governing boards, there are economy-of-scale benefits to having a coordinated university system.
(b) Even with universities with governing boards, shared services may continue to be shared among universities.
(c) Legal title to all real property, whether acquired before or after the creation of a governing board, through state funding, revenue bonds or philanthropy, shall be taken and held in the name of the State of Oregon, acting by and through the governing board.
(d) The Legislative Assembly has a responsibility to monitor the success of governing boards at fulfilling their missions, their compacts and the principles stated in this section. [2013 c.768 §1]

The Legislature has passed that responsibility to the HECC. Executive Director Ben Cannon’s proposal for this is here, well worth reading it all:

Workgroup recommendations will be advisory to the Executive Director. HECC staff will make a
final recommendation to the Commission for an evaluation framework in summer, 2015. The
Commission-adopted framework will be employed in Fall 2015 for evaluations of the three
institutions whose boards assumed governance responsibility July 1, 2014 (UO, OSU, and PSU). All
seven public institutions will be evaluated annually using the framework starting in Fall 2016.

The work group will convene January 2015 – June 2015 and will use the following legislative
guidance to frame its work and outcomes:

ORS 352.061(2) stipulates that the HECC’s evaluations of universities must include:
 A report on the university’s achievement of outcomes, measures of progress, goals and
targets as described in the university’s achievement compact with the Oregon Education
Investment Board;
 An assessment of the university’s progress toward achieving the mission of all education
beyond high school as described in ORS 351.009 (the 40-40-20 goal); and
 An assessment as to how well the establishment of a governing board at the university
comports with the findings set forth in ORS 352.025.

ORS 352.061(2)(c) also requires that the HECC assess university governing boards against the
findings set forth in ORS 352.025, including that governing boards:

 Provide transparency, public accountability and support for the university.
 Are close to and closely focused on the individual university.
 Do not negatively impact public universities that do not have governing boards.
 Lead to greater access and affordability for Oregon residents and do not disadvantage
Oregon students relative to out-of-state students.
 Act in the best interests of both the university and the State of Oregon as a whole.
 Promote the academic success of students in support of the mission of all education beyond
high school as described in ORS 351.009 (the 40-40-20 goal).
ORS 352.025 notes four additional Legislative findings:
 Even with universities with governing boards, there are economy-of-scale benefits to having
a coordinated university system.
 Even with universities with governing boards, shared services may continue to be shared
among universities.
 Legal title to all real property, whether acquired before or after the creation of a governing
board, through state funding, revenue bonds or philanthropy, shall be taken and held in the
name of the State of Oregon, acting by and through the governing board.
 The Legislative Assembly has a responsibility to monitor the success of governing boards at
fulfilling their missions, their compacts and the principles stated in this section.

The HECC has now released its workplan, here:

10.0 a. University Evaluation Staff Summary
10.0 b. University Evaluation  and Academic Quality Framework
11.0 Informational Series: Workforce Training Programs in Oregon

 

GradGate: Senate to investigate graduate fellowship cuts, missing $11M

2/5/2015 update:

A reader passes along this Brad Shelton powerpoint, which among other things documents the $1.5M Moffitt to Moffitt transfer:

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.15.58 PM

The bottom line though, is that there’s plenty of water in the well. Or at least that’s what Brad Shelton was telling UO’s academic deans in September:

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.30.35 PM

I wonder what changed?

2/4/2015 update: The Senate Executive Committee met today. The sudden cuts to graduate fellowships in some UO departments, right in the middle of grad recruiting, got some serious attention. Senate President Kyr is going to ask the Senate Budget Committee to look into the situation and report back to the Senate ASAP.

Meanwhile, in the absence of any information from President Coltrane or Provost Bronet, the rumors are flying. Please post yours in the comments, whilst adhering to the one cuss-word limit.

Isn’t it odd how it only takes Johnson Hall 3 hours to spam the entire university with a witch-hunt email accusing a professor and two archivists of an “unlawful release” of UO archives, but when it comes to something as crucial as graduate student fellowships, they wait until departments are bringing students to campus to tell us sorry, they spent that money on something else?

Speaking of where they spent the money, the Senate Exec Meeting was attended by UO’s new VP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett, who is tasked with spying on the faculty and reporting back to Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms. Pernsteiner paid Triplett $72K, but Angela Wilhelms is giving him $130K, and didn’t even make him go through an affirmative action compliant search. No wonder he’s so happy:

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.39.49 PM

What are the chances that chief collaborator Triplett will relay the news to the Board of Trustees that UO’s spending priorities are out of whack? How much are we paying Wilhelms?

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.54.30 PM

2/4/2015: UO cutting grad student fellowships?

That’s the rumor. If true, it means Chuck Lillis has decided that it would be more fun to play with UO if it were out of the AAU. If you know something, say something.

Coltrane looking for new Senior Executive Assistant

Job ad here. Rumor has it that Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms wants a Chuck Triplett type, who will keep her and Chairman Chuck Lillis informed about exactly what UO’s President is up to:

Title: Senior Executive Assistant

The University of Oregon seeks applications for the Senior Executive Assistant for the Office of the President position. The Office of the President is the chief executive office for the University of Oregon. The office consists of the president, chief of staff, and several high-level executive and administrative support positions. The office staff works to provide efficient and responsible operation of the president’s office in support of the president’s initiatives and priorities in service to the students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Board of Trustees and external partners of the institution.

Senate repudiates Triplett and Park proposal, directs TAIF to investigate potential retaliation against faculty

12/14/2014: Video of the Senate meeting is now available:

12/10/2014 PM update:

Alexandra Wallachly from the Emerald has posted a report on the meeting, here.

On the Board meeting Thursday: I think it’s important to show up at the Board meeting Thursday at 8AM in the Alumni Center. While the board has backed off on the latest power grab, there’s plenty of potential for surprises, those making public comments deserve some supporters, and it’s important that the Board sees that the faculty take what’s been happening very seriously. And I hear someone will be passing out “Save our Senate” buttons.

On the Senate meeting today: I got there at the very end. I’d love it if someone would send me some notes or post them. People tell me it was standing room only, and filled with dismay and outrage over what’s going on with our administration.

The Senate passed an amended version of the motion below, opposing the Triplett/Park power grab. The fact that they did this even after Coltrane announced the Board would withdraw the motion at his suggestion shows how deep the mistrust of Johnson Hall has become. Coltrane and Bronet need to take charge of that snake-pit, decisively and soon.

The Senate then apparently wrote and approved a second motion, directing the Academic Integrity Task Force to investigate the administration’s “alleged plans to establish groundwork for disciplinary procedures” against Philosophy Dept Chair Bonnie Mann and other faculty who refused to issue “fraudulent” grades. Apparently there is also an accusation that a CAS administrator not only gave out grades for courses, but then raised them after students complained. I don’t know if the TAIF will also investigate that.

I’ll post the video when available, and I expect the motions (passed unanimously?) will be on the Senate website soon, here. Meanwhile check Try Bree Nicolello’s twitter reports on the meeting: https://twitter.com/breenicolello.

12/10/2014 update: (see below for Coltrane response)

Sorry, I’m at the Board committee meetings, no live-blog.

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