Around the O on Aisha Almana: Saudi, feminist, UO grad, donor

Very interesting story, here:

… A significant gift from Aisha Almana, a UO graduate, hospital executive and prominent feminist, will create new international opportunities in education and global health at the University of Oregon.

The Aisha Almana Global Health Program will provide scholarships for Saudi women to study global health at the UO, fund seed grants for faculty research, help implement an annual series of speakers and workshops, and support internships for UO students in the Saudi kingdom — the UO’s first fully funded international internships in global health.

Almana is her country’s leading activist for justice, equality and respect for women. In 1990, she led 46 women in a historic protest against her country’s ban on women driving. …

First UO’s new VP for communication Kyle Henley gave the branders the boot, and now Around the O no longer reads like the official organ of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Not bad – still no comments though. Also in Around the O, the new “DuckFunder” campaigns, link here:

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Around the O posts fascinating pro-union story

Now that’s the last thing I expected from “AroundtheOops”. Has this whole damn university suddenly gone pinko? Where’s Sharon Rudnick when we need her? It sure didn’t take Kyle Henley and Greg Bolt long to make UO’s Official Organ way more interesting. Essential, even. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to be cutting into my google ad revenue yet. I’d link to their post, but they’re still not linking to me so type the url in yourself or google Bob Bussel.

Greg Bolt saves Around the O from Tobin Klinger and Tim Gleason

“Around the O” is the official UO blog that Bob Berdahl, Scott Coltrane, and Jim Bean paid former Journalism Dean Tim Gleason to start, to counteract the baleful influence of UO Matters:

Gleason took the money, but he didn’t deliver:

But now it’s all good. Instead of Gleason, UO has a new communications VP, Kyle Henley. And now Greg Bolt is in charge of Around the O. And it’s way better. No more Klinger crap. No more potentially defamatory posts from Tim Gleason. And lots of interesting science reporting from Jim Barlow:

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Focus Group report on Tim Gleason’s

http://uomatters.com/2013/02/around-o-spam-costs-107000.html

 

12/31/2013: UO Matters more popular than Around the O for 2013

Here’s a little hint for former UO Journalism Dean Tim Gleason, now getting $218,524 a year to advise UO on “academic messaging”. While UO’s official “Around the O” blog reports almost 745,000 page views for 2013, UO Matters got 968,000, and I didn’t have to give away iPads, or spam the faculty and staff. Thanks, readers:

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Maybe “Around the O” should post some public records and allow comments? Gleason’s year-long pre-sabbatical sinecure contract below, for example, got a hundred or so downloads, after I finally pried it loose from the public records office. And my post on Gleason’s presentation to the SPJ on UO’s wonderful public records compliance attracted many interesting comments, not all of them defamatory.

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His mission?

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Full contract here.

Help UO students see Gottfredson’s official calendar

7/26/2013: “Around the O” releases details on Gottfredson’s official calendar.

Just kidding, it’s a puff piece about his trip to Fort Rock:

Participants in this year’s tour included UO President Michael Gottfredson and his wife, Karol; Interim Provost Scott Coltrane and his wife, Wendy; Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and her husband, David; …

Plenty of money for “reporting” on stuff like this, but Hubin’s office is still stonewalling requests by student-journalists to get a copy of their president’s official calendar. After his month’s news about Rudy Crew and Jeff Cogen, you’d think he’d realize how bad this looks. Apparently he doesn’t care.

6/7/2013: Dave Hubin’s public records office is trying to charge our students $240 to see the most recent 5 months of their president’s official calendar, claiming there’s not enough public interest to justify a fee waiver. Please donate below to help them out.

Also on “Around the O” today, a survey on reader use and satisfaction from the “Office of Strategic Communication”. Fill it out, and tell them UO Matters sent you:

Donate $5 to pay President Gottfredson’s public records fees

Fees for reporters, subsidies for propaganda

7/15/2013: We’ve written before about the $104K cost of “Around the O”. Here are two much worse examples of how UO is making work more difficult for real reporters, while spending public money on what amounts to propaganda. I suppose you could argue this is good for UO in the short run, except it goes against everything that public universities are supposed to stand for.

1) If you’re a UO student journalist like Daily Emerald Editor Sam Stites and you try to get public records about UO’s athletic department, the Ducks will hit you up for substantial fees, and Dave Hubin will argue it would be wrong to use tuition money to subsidize the release of public records to the public.

But UO has no problem spending money to hire sports reporter Rob Moseley away from the Register Guard to write for the official UO GoDucks.com website. At $50,000 a year, plus bowl games junkets for spouse and kids, and on a year by year contract, I can just imagine how much real information we’ll get from Mr. Moseley about things like the Jock Box subsidies and who paid for the NCAA legal defense.

2) That’s just sports. But UO is playing the same game with substantive things like President Gottfredson’s official calendar, showing who he met with, while negotiating an independent board for UO. Surely that’s important enough to justify a public interest fee waiver? No. Dave Hubin wants to charge $240 for UO’s student journalists to see the calendar.

The Oregon Commentator tried to pay this fee with money allocated by UO’s student government for just that purpose. Hubin responded with a ruling saying student publications like the Commentator and the Emerald can’t use student money to buy UO’s public records.

But President Gottfredson has no problem paying for yet another “strategic communications” flack to broadcast his own spin on things:

Salary: $60,000 to $85,000 

Public & Government Affairs and the Office of the President invite applications for a full-time (1.0 FTE) Director of Public Affairs and President’s Office Communications.  This position is responsible for providing executive communications support to the president of the university and for developing and managing comprehensive communications activities for the Office of the President with internal and external constituencies.  

The Emerald has now set up an independent non-profit to solicit donations, in an effort to get around Hubin’s rules. Donate here, you’ll get a nice letter *from* the Emerald Editor, to show the IRS when you claim it on your taxes. You don’t have to be an economist to understand that free-riding will mean they’ll never get enough money- a fact our UO administration is counting on.

"Around the O" spam costs ~$107,000. Gottfredson’s calendar costs $103.

I sort of like UO’s official “Around the O” blog. Lots of endearing pictures of our UO administrators, and the occasional informative post about campus events. But I hear complaints about the weekly spam they send to everyone, offering coffee cups and iPads for answering trivia questions. So a couple of weeks ago I asked the blogger, Joe Mosley, for an estimate of the costs. Joe was happy to answer. But his boss, AVP for Strategic Communications Phil Weiler, wanted to make life a little harder for me. So he made me file a public records request. Today I got the reply:

Below, please find the information responsive to your request for “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months” and “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”, made on 1/31/2013.
In response to “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months”:
The university does not possess documents detailing the amount of time an employee spends on AroundtheO, however, the department has offered the following information in response to your request:
  • Joe Mosley  – approximately 50 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Matt Cooper  – approximately 30 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Aria Seligmann  –  approximately 25 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
In response to “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”:
  • Stainless steel travel mugs (100) – $735
  • Three $100 Duck Store gift cards ($250 donated by Duck Store, as co-sponsor of scavenger hunt contest) – $50
  • Two iPads as scavenger hunt prizes – $998
Assuming swag will continue at the current rate, this works out to about $7,000 a year plus $100,000 or so for salaries and OPE.Johnson Hall is happy to spend this kind of money on keeping its employees informed about what JH thinks they should be informed about. But try and get some real info – like President Gottfredson’s official calendar – and they will make you pay $103 and wait a month. Or maybe longer. I asked for that on Jan 8, and I am still getting the run around from Dave Hubin. 2/8/2013.