Faculty Club to host President Schill, tonight at 5PM

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club will be meeting this week, during the usual hours (Wednesdays and Thursdays 5:00-8:00 pm).  We’ll close during Exam Week and Spring Break, and then open again in Week One of the Spring Term.

The Senate-sponsored “Talk to Your Dean Night” series continues this week with a double-header and a presidential appearance.  Yes, that’s right.  Wednesday we’ll have Dean Juan-Carlos Molleda of the School of Journalism as well as Dean Christoph Lindner from the College of Design.  Both deans will be available to chat informally about whatever’s on your mind.  Rumors that the two will settle, in an arm-wrestling match, the age-old question of which school is more “awesome,” are likely false.   Lindner will, however, be offering the Six-o-Clock Toast.

Thursday Michael Schill will be on hand, taking the “Talk to Your Dean Night” series to a presidential level.  With his decidedly non-Caesarian tendencies, our president has little reason to “beware the Ides of March.”  We will, however, be marking the anniversary of Caesar’s death with a Six-o-Clock Toast from Mary Jaeger, Professor of Classics and avowed partisan of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Hope to see you either night, or both nights.

Yours, James Harper
Chair of the Faculty Club Board

Union responds to Provost’s letter to Architecture faculty

I don’t know who wrote the Provost’s letter below, but it doesn’t strike me as Banavar’s style. In any case the faculty union has now sent the architecture faculty a thoughtful response:

Dear Department of Architecture and Interior Architecture Faculty,

On Friday, Provost Banavar sent the faculty of the Department of Architecture a letter concerning the recent unrest in the unit. In that letter he emphasizes that the University is a workplace that does not permit bullying or retaliation. We agree with that position. The Provost’s letter, however, goes well beyond reminding faculty of their duties not to intimidate or bully and cites the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as the basis for his reasoning. Consequently, we felt compelled to respond to the letter and clarify the meaning of the CBA.

First, we share the Provost’s concern that faculty in the Department of Architecture fear retaliation and work in a hostile atmosphere where they experience bullying. Our CBA contains strong language protecting faculty from working in an environment that is hostile, abusive, or intimidating. Heather Quarles, the chair of our Grievance Committee, has worked with many faculty across the university to address hostile workplaces. Any faculty member who would like to discuss a hostile workplace should feel free to reach out to Heather at quarles@uauoregon.org.

If department or committee meetings are taking place in the Department of Architecture that exclude faculty members for discriminatory reasons, this must be addressed immediately. It is never acceptable to exclude faculty from departmental activities on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership status, familial status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or membership or non-membership in or activity on behalf of or in opposition to the union. Discriminatory actions are forbidden in state law, university policy, and the CBA.

Unfortunately, the Provost goes well beyond discussing discriminatory practices in his letter, telling faculty that “conversations” about the future of the department that do not include all faculty must end. The CBA, despite the Provost’s citations, does not prevent faculty from meeting to discuss the future of the department – whether or not all faculty are invited to participate in those discussions. 

Under the CBA and state law, faculty have the right to organize to discuss their wages and working conditions, including departmental and college governance, free of interference from the employer. The Provost has no right, under either the CBA or state law, to forbid faculty to have conversations about the future of the department. In fact, it is a fundamental right of the faculty to gather together with their like-minded colleagues to discuss how they might resist, protest, undo, and improve the actions of the administration.

Additionally, the Provost has no right, through the CBA or otherwise, to forbid faculty to meet with external advisory groups. As he said, such arrangements may in some cases be counterproductive and harmful, but there can be no blanket prohibition on the right of faculty to work with external advisory groups. The American Associate of University Professors (AAUP) has worked with many faculty at many colleges and universities to organize protests against violations of academic freedom rights. In many of these cases, the administration believed the actions of their faculty in working with the AAUP might be detrimental to the institution, but they had no right to end these conversations or force the faculty to include college administrators in those discussions.

Finally, we are saddened that the Provost did not use the occasion of writing to the Architecture faculty to acknowledge that there are many difficult issues that the department is trying to grapple with. Many faculty clearly feel that the shared governance principles and practices in the department and college do not work. If the frustrations of these faculty have created an atmosphere of hostility and intimidation, this must be rectified, but they cannot be resolved through vague and potentially intimidating demands from the Provost. We believe the solutions to these problems must include more conversations, not fewer.

Any faculty member who wants to discuss the rights of faculty under the CBA, the future of the Department of Architecture, and/or a hostile workplace is free to contact the leaders or staff of United Academics. You can reach us by responding to this email, calling the union office, or contacting any of the officers of the union. 541-636-4714 or http://uauoregon.org/executive-council


The Executive Council of United Academics of the University of Oregon

3/12/2018: Provost: Architecture faculty cannot secede from College of Design

Some CoD faculty not happy with new Dean, reorganization

Michael Tobin has the report in the Emerald here:

Six months after the launch of the College of Design, some faculty members are complaining about a new level of bureaucracy and the fate of some of the old programs.

Also, some faculty members are unhappy over a controversial court decision that allows dean Christoph Lindner to control extra funds from a donor’s will that were intended only for books and photographs for the art history department.

Lindner, who became the dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 2016, proposed that the school undergo a massive restructure and become what is now known as the College of Design.

Established in fall 2017, the college is home to these schools: Architecture and Environment; Art and Design and Planning, Public Policy, and Management, as well as one department: the History of Art and Architecture.

The rest of the story goes into the details, including a faculty / union meeting.

CoD fundraiser drops in on CoD Town Hall, photographs attendees


The event was pretty well attended, with about 30 CoD faculty and 5 or so union reps. There was a full and frank discussion that went on til 5:30, and continued in small groups afterwards.

I helped bring in extra chairs, one of which was then taken by a gentleman who unobtrusively started taking cell phone pictures. A union rep saw this and asked him to leave, which he did. He came back a few minutes later, and since I was lounging by the door he asked me why he’d been asked to leave and what the rules were for union meetings.

Full disclosure: I have no idea. So I told him that people wanted to have an open discussion and he was making them nervous since they didn’t know who he was. I asked him who he was. He said he was the director of development for design. I asked him why he was there. He said because he was worried about what they were talking about and wanted to know what was going on. I asked him why he was taking pictures. He said because he didn’t know many faculty by name and wanted to know who was there.

It seems a bit sad that the director of development would need to photograph a faculty/union meeting to figure out who the faculty are, but maybe he’s new. In any case turnabout is fair play, and so here’s his photo:

2/22/2018: College of Design faculty to hold Town Hall:

This Thursday at 4PM in Lawrence 230. Issues include:

The fate of AAD and the process used to terminate that program
The cutting of the summer Architecture program for high school students
The Portland Faculty Assignment Criteria & Process
The lack of Post-Tenure Review criteria
The management of the Ross Fund
De-emphasis on professional work and emphasis on peer-reviewed publications in reviews
The restructuring causing administrative bloat