Gottfredson strongly supports Alex-Assensoh

Update: And don’t miss the RG Op-Ed from former VP for Diversity Charles Martinez, hired and promoted by Frohnmayer and Bean without an affirmative action compliant open search, then fired by President Lariviere after widespread complaints from people on all sides of the diversity debates. Martinez took the money and ran, and from what I can tell is now the highest paid Associate Prof in the Ed school, at $153,502.

An email sent out today, 1/15/2013:

Message from UO President Michael Gottfredson
Our commitments to a campus that embraces diversity with a culture of inclusivity and equity are fundamental to our mission. As such, it is imperative that we continuously examine our progress and work to improve our achievements.
When I arrived on campus last August, I learned of solid faculty interest in enhancing our efforts and accomplishments in equity and inclusion, and in strengthening our achievements in diversity. While much has been accomplished at the UO, there was an expressed interest to do more – to examine structure and programming to ensure that we keep pace with the best practices in the field of equity and inclusion.
Our ongoing restructuring of the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), under the leadership of Vice President Yvette Alex-Assensoh, is intended to address some widely-shared concerns from campus and community stakeholders. It will enhance the strengths of that unit and enable it to most effectively pursue its goals. It will allow for the creation of new policies, programs and positions, drawing additional highly-trained, racially and ethnically diverse staff and faculty to the UO.
Dr. Alex-Assensoh, with the support of members of the OEI team and leaders from many campus units, has held several meetings in the past week to discuss our ongoing strategic planning process for equity and inclusion on campus, as well as the organizational restructuring. The meetings have provided an opportunity for transparent and open dialogue. More opportunities lie ahead for all who wish to meet with our campus leadership team to become involved in planning for the future of OEI and our university. Information about these meetings will be posted on AroundtheO, on the OEI website and through ASUO channels.
I want to thank all of those who have participated in these important conversations, through meetings and correspondence. We all appreciate the concerns that have been expressed. All views about these changes are welcome and deserve the serious consideration they will receive. I also want to express my appreciation on behalf of the entire university for the work that has been accomplished by the former Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OEID) and the many contributions of its employees. 
We are of course continuing our commitment to outreach work, pipeline programs and partnerships with educational institutions, and engaging in new opportunities that contribute to the state’s 40-40-20 goals for post-secondary education. We are committed to strengthening the university’s strong relationships with the tribal governments of Oregon, our local racial and ethnic minority communities, and other civic and cultural groups. Student support programs at OEI remain healthy and robust. The office’s new structure will allow us to engage in partnerships with campus advising, academic units and community groups that make our student support efforts even more effective. OEI’s restructuring is intended to strengthen our relationships with tribal governments by empowering people in existing positions and bringing additional new employees on board, who will focus on pipeline programming and fundraising for Native American initiatives.
I was also pleased to learn about the new work that is being led by our Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC), the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and VP Alex-Assensoh to help faculty, chairs and deans better understand and use the best practices in recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty on our campus. Provost Bean and I are committed to working with faculty, chairs and deans to use the new opportunities for hiring as a way to reach out to talented minority faculty at all ranks so that our campus can benefit from the abilities that diverse faculty members bring to campus and our students.
I am grateful for Dr. Alex-Assensoh’s leadership as she moves us toward a position from which we can achieve our shared vision. But the Office of Equity and Inclusion cannot do the work alone. Each member of the campus community has an important role to play in making sure that our commitment to academic excellence is reflected in our attention to recruiting and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds. We must support all of our students during their time on our campus, and in preparing each of them for an ever-changing world. Thank you for your work to support this institutional commitment.
Sincerely,
Michael R. Gottfredson

OEI memos on Native American Affairs, and no demonstrations

1/13/2013: UO’s new VP for Equity Yvette Alex-Assensoh’s proposal for reforms in how UO handles Native American Affairs is here:

And here’s the memo from YAA, Human Resources, and Randy Geller’s office, telling OEI staff that “we have an obligation while at work to refrain from comments that might negatively affect the operations of the University”.

Alex-Assensoh speaks at diversity meeting

In the RG: 

Three additional meetings are scheduled for today and Friday to address the university’s strategic equity and inclusion plan, and the restructuring of its equity office. The biggest part of Wednesday’s meeting involved audience members breaking into groups to answer questions intended to inform the equity plan.

Next meetings:

The second will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, in the EMU’s Board Room. 

The third will be from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, in the EMU’s Rogue Room.


Diversity updates 1/5/2013

RG editors call for UO to follow state law on search for new football coach:

Turns out that promoting Helfrich without interviewing a qualified minority candidate — or at least making a good-faith attempt to find such a candidate — would violate Oregon law. 

Three years ago, the Oregon Legislature passed pioneering legislation that made Oregon the first state in the nation to require its public universities to interview a qualified minority candidate before hiring a head coach or athletic director. The bill had overwhelming support in both chambers of the Legislature, passing the Senate with all 29 senators present voting yes.

Randy Geller may well come up with some sham to allow Johnson Hall to claim we are following the letter but not the spirit of this well intentioned law. But remember this is a university that doesn’t even hold open public searches for president or provost. Not going to happen for something important like a coach.

VP for Equity Yvette Alex-Assensoh has posted an ad for a new AVP. Minimum qualifications:

Ph.D. in any field and three years’ experience in program development for faculty, staff and students in higher education, including experience in developing campus-wide diversity programs, initiatives, workshops, conferences, and efforts for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, three years of experience in managing program budgets for campus-wide entities.

And she will hold 3 campus wide meetings on diversity plans this coming week:

The first of the town hall meetings will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, in the EMU’s Oak Room. The second will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, in the EMU’s Board Room. The third will be from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, in the EMU’s Rogue Room.


Update: New VP for Diversity Yvette Alex-Assensoh shakes the table

Update, from the comments:

One of the groups leading the attack against the restructuring is the Oregon Indian Education Association. Their president is Alison Ball. http://02af27e.netsolhost.com/OIEA/welcome-to-oiea/board-of-directors/

She is the wife of Tom Ball, one of the 3 AVP’s that was just reassigned: http://diversity.uoregon.edu/dr-tom-ball-assistant-vice-president 

I haven’t seen any acknowledgement of this rather obvious conflict of interest in any of the statements her group has made opposing the OIED restructuring, including this online petition: http://02af27e.netsolhost.com/OIEA/calltoaction/

12/28/12: And it’s about time someone did. Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, which focuses on complaints from local minority leaders about lack of consultation. My view is very different. This office has been horribly mismanaged for years. Yvette Alex-Assensoh was brought in by Lariviere to change things, after a petition from more than 60 faculty, staff, and OAs. And it seems like she’s got the courage to make change happen. Good for her!

UO’s Diversity office was started by Dave Frohnmayer and John Moseley – but only after they lost a discrimination lawsuit to UO administrator Joe Wade, who forced them to create the office in his legal settlement:

Joe Wade’s complaint against Frohnmayer and Moseley was valid. The court ruled in his favor, and UO’s central administration still shows minority under-representation – a legacy of Johnson Hall’s continuing failure to hold open searches for executive positions:

Frohnmayer even appointed insider Charles Martinez to run the Diversity office without conducting an AA compliant public search. And he let Martinez double dip at an off campus job. Not surprisingly, Martinez ran the office into the ground.

Eventually the faculty and the diversity office staff rebelled. I heard 60 people signed the letter of protest. Richard Lariviere then fired Martinez and held an open, public, AA compliant search for a new VP for Diversity. CAS Dean Scott Coltrane ran the search, with plenty of input from the local community – including many racial and ethnic minorities and community leaders, such as 4J superintendent George Russell, on the hiring committee. Coltrane held 5 “visioning sessions” to get input from various stakeholder groups, including local minority community groups. The hiring committee was a notably diverse group, in terms of race and ethnicity:

Scott Coltrane, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Robin Holmes, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Allison Davis-White Eyes, OSU Director of Office of American Indian Initiatives
Sergio Ibarra Bolanos, UO MBA student
Maneesh Arora, UO undergraduate student
Rasheid Light, Multicultural recruiting, UO Admissions
Edward M Olivos, Associate Professor of Education
Gregory Rikhoff, UO Director of Community Relations
George Russell, 4J Superintendent
Carol Stabile, Director, UO Center for the Study of Women in Society
Roger Thompson, UO VP for Enrollment
Mia Tuan, Director of the UO Center for Diversity and Community
Carmen Urbina, 4J Schools 

Three candidates came to campus, with well attended public meetings. UO then hired Yvette Alex-Assensoh from Indiana. She was the top pick of the committee. She has stellar credentials: poli-sci professor, law degree, administrative experience, and a record of real accomplishment. From her application letter:

Legally proper. Retention. Good jobs. I like. She started this fall. Give her a chance to set a long, long series of wrongs right.

Update: Bean’s diversitygram omits crucial facts

Congratulations to the Ad Hoc Beangram Team for disemboweling yet another message from Interim Provost Bean. I’m glad to see I’m not the only UO prof who enjoys our Interim Provost’s unique mix of pretension, condescension, dissimulation, and ignorant disrespect for data and analysis.

Updates: See bottom, from data located by a helpful commenter. The number of resident UO freshmen reporting as Black has dropped from 66 in 2008 to 49 in 2012. To help out Bean with the math I ran the percentage calculations with Matlab and Mathematica on my NSF funded 16 core Mac Pro, using 64gig of RAM and a 4 Terabyte RAID5 setup:

Black instate freshman enrollment as a percentage of total freshman enrollment has dropped from 1.2% in 2008 to 0.95% in 2012.

11/29/2012: Bean’s data apparently *do not* include non-US residents. A big part of the increase claimed below is clearly from the new multi-racial reporting possibility. This was a major reform, pressed by none other than President Obama. UO started using it for students in 2010, so most of the increase in Bean’s diversity numbers is not an increase at all, it’s a simple change in reporting definitions.

Bean has promised to provide FAFSA data to allow a look at changes in student SES diversity. I’ll post more when this is available.

Meanwhile, note the part of the Beangram that talks about changes in faculty hiring procedures. VP Kimberly Espy just got in major trouble for messing with science hiring decisions – word is that she’s now been told she can no longer even talk to prospective hires. Is Gottfredson going to take a lesson from that and involve the Senate in what is clearly an academic matter? We’ll see.

11/28/2012: Is UO padding its diversity numbers by counting the increasing number of international students as members of under-represented populations, or by not adjusting for the popular new multi-racial reporting category? Bean says he will provide info on the race/ethnicity breakdown soon, but he ignored the part of my question about what the numbers looked like broken down by US/Oregon residency. A great way to start off a “holistic approach” to increasing “gender, class and racial diversity” – release some meaningless window dressing data.

As for the part about increasing faculty diversity? It’s been representative of the available pool of PhD’s for years. You really don’t know anything about UO’s faculty, do you, Jim?

Johnson Hall, on the other hand – now there’s a race problem. From UO’s AA Plan:

Maybe someone should introduce a Senate motion calling for an open, Affirmative Action compliant search for a new Provost – because that sure as hell is not the way we got stuck with Bean. Anyway, here’s the latest, enjoy:

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 28, 2012

Colleagues: 

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. Before everyone dives into their final exam and holiday rush, I want to take a moment to point out some very good news in terms of our commitment to expanding the diversity of our student population. 

This fall, we’ve had the most success we’ve ever seen in working toward a more diverse freshman class: 25.3 percent of freshmen are from traditionally under-represented populations. 

Since Fall 2010, we’ve been on an improved course. Here are the numbers for freshmen from traditionally under-represented populations over the past five years:
Fall 2008: 18.7%
Fall 2009: 17.6%
Fall 2010: 21.9%
Fall 2011: 23.2%
Fall 2012: 25.3%
I am pleased to note that we will continue to improve upon these numbers as we move forward with the next generation of our diversity action plan under the leadership of newly appointed Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, a professor of political science. 

While we are pleased with our improved numbers for freshmen, we recognize we must redouble our efforts to attract a more diverse faculty base. This will involve the commitment of existing faculty who help to create job descriptions and form search committees, as well as the collaboration of human resources personnel and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. 

But it’s not just about numbers. We must look at broadening our diversity throughout campus, among departments, schools and colleges. To do this, we will take a broad-based, holistic approach to creating gender, class and racial diversity within each classroom and office and creating the most welcoming environment Oregon has ever seen. 

I look forward to working with Yvette and our entire UO community as we make inroads into these diversification efforts. 

I look forward to your comments at provost@uoregon.edu 

Regards,
Jim

Updates: A commenter sent us here and there’s 2008 data here for comparison. I’m not exactly a fan of the sordid business of slicing and dicing Americans by race, but since Bean raised the question, a quick glance shows that UO enrolled 66 resident non-Hispanic Black freshmen in 2008, decreasing to 49 in 2012.

If you want to slice more finely, it’s not clear how we treated hispanic ethnicity in 2012, and you gotta adjust for the new multiple race reporting too. Who knows what Bean did. Ask him – he looks forward to your comments! Or dig into the data yourself, OUS has it back to 2005, diced pretty finely: http://www.ous.edu/factreport/enroll/current-enrollment

AA ban increased CA minority graduation rate by 4.4%

Affirmative Action and University Fit: Evidence from Proposition 209
Peter Arcidiacono, Esteban Aucejo, Patrick Coate, V. Joseph Hotz

NBER Working Paper No. 18523
Issued in November 2012

Proposition 209 banned using racial preferences in admissions at California’s public colleges. We analyze unique data for all applicants and enrollees within the University of California (UC) system before and after Prop 209. After Prop 209, graduation rates of minorities increased by 4.4%. We characterize conditions required for better matching of students to campuses to account for this increase. We find that Prop 209 did improve matching and this improvement was important for the graduation gains experienced by less-prepared students. At the same time, better matching only explains about 20% of the overall graduation rate increase. Changes after Prop 209 in the selectivity of enrolled students explains 34-50% of the increase. Finally, it appears UC campuses responded to Prop 209 by doing more to help retain and graduate its students, which explains between 30-46% of the post-Prop 209 improvement in the graduation rate of minorities.

Discrimination against Asian-Americans

11/4/2012: The NYT education magazine has an article about it, Steve Hsu has the link and a good take in his blog, here. Brandeis was famously started in part as a reaction to Ivy League discrimination against Jews – the “numerus clausus”. I wonder if there will be a similar market reaction to the discrimination against Asians? Is UO doing this now, by recruiting top students denied a place at higher ranking universities because of their race? We should.

Political diversity at UO

10/29/2012: The University of Iowa Law School was sued in 2009 for failing to hire a conservative instructor. The ruling just came out, and is described by Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle:

In a case in which the University of Iowa College of Law stood accused of political bias for refusing to hire an instructor known for her conservative views, a jury found that the plaintiff, Teresa R. Wagner, did not suffer infringement of her First Amendment rights. The jury deadlocked, however, over a second claim, that Ms. Wagner was denied her equal-protection rights under the 14th Amendment. …

Back in 2006 I matched the Lane County voter registration file to a list of UO professors. Out of 506 matches, there were 25 registered Republicans. Comparing the matched results to the county and state:

By UO college, it looked like this:

Former UO Prof Hsu has opinions about stuff

10/7/2012: Physics Prof Steve Hsu left UO this fall, to be VP for Research at MSU. Matthew Miller of the Lansing paper has a report. Not the usual generics, it deals in part with an email sent to MSU colleagues by UO Prof Daniel HoSang about Hsu’s views and research on IQ, but mostly about plans to link MSU research to local economic success. His blog has his response.

For contrast, I looked at what the RG has written about UO VPR Kimberly Espy and her efforts to keep UO in the AAU, etc: nothing. The ODE had generic puff piece on her when she replaced Linton, here. We need more serious journalism about this issue at UO.

Update: But meanwhile, we’ve got our readers, one of whom posts this:

Forget the genetics stuff, I’m more interested in this…
The Strategic Partnership program provides major grants ranging up to $400,000 over three years for areas of research growth. They are used to leverage matching support from other sources, to provide seed funding for the development of new knowledge, and to initiate new centers of excellence. These grants are treated as investments in the future development of MSU as one of the nation’s leading research universities.
…as compared to, oh I don’t know, maybe this…
Projects which fund Graduate Research Fellows will be prioritized and eligible for funding to a maximum of $8,000 if fully matched by funds from non-RIGE sources… Projects that do not provide support for Graduate Research Fellows will be eligible for funding to a maximum of $5,500.

Still no UO affirmative action plan

Federal law requires annual updates, the 2012-13 plan was due 7/1/2012. The OFCCP has investigated Penny Daugherty’s AAEO office before for their repeated failure to do these plans, and for backdating them to make it look like they had. Last year Lariviere signed it late and just left off the date. When the plan is filed I expect it will show what it always has shown – UO’s hiring of tenure track faculty is generally representative of the pool of available PhD’s by race and ethnicity, but is low on women in science. The Johnson Hall executive administration, which frequently exploits a loophole in federal law that allows them to hire their friends without a search or even a public announcement will have substantial underrepresentation of minorities. 8/2/2012.

Penny Daugherty late with Affirmative Action Plan again

7/3/2012 update:

I got interested in public records matters back in 2006, after Melinda Grier and AA Director Penny Daugherty tried to charge me $200 to see copies of UO’s Affirmative Action plans – documents which state clearly on the cover that they are to be made freely available on request. Most universities post these on the web, but it took the threat of a motion to the UO Senate to get UO to hand them over.

When they did I found out why they were so secretive. UO’s AA Office routinely filed the plans late – even skipping some years. Dave Frohnmayer would then backdate them to make it look like UO was in compliance with the federal law requiring annual updates.

Eventually I was able to convince AA to post the plans on the web, and at least try and do the updates annually. This year Penny Daugherty tells me the plan will only be a month or so late. When it is done, I expect it will show what it has always shown – UO’s hiring of tenure track faculty is generally representative of the pool of available PhD’s by race and ethnicity.

On the other hand the Johnson Hall executive administration, which frequently exploits a loophole in federal law that allows them to hire administrators without a search or even a public announcement that there is a job opening, will not be representative of the available pool of administrators.

The problem is not lack of resources. UO’s AAEO office was already larger than of many other comparable schools, and their spending has increased from $432,000 for the 2009 FY to $635,000 for 2012. Report here. They spent $13,000 on conference registration fees, and $10,000 on out of state travel. Add in the $1 million or so budget for OIED, and you begin to see how expense and mismanaged UO’s diversity efforts have been.

7/8/2011 update: This time she’s only a week late – Penny has now posted the signed 2011-2012 AA Plan on her website. The quick take for those who enjoy the sordid business of classifying Americans by race and gender: Faculty hiring is broadly representative on race/ethnicity, bit less on gender. UO’s higher administration executives remain a problem:

 One question I’ve got is why the UO AAEO office has not yet adopted the new multi-racial categories. The OFCCP has been recommending these for several years now. More on this later.

7/6/2011: At the bottom of every UO job ad it says “The University of Oregon is an EO/AA/ADA institution …” Sort of important stuff, if you are looking for work, or serving on a search committee.

Penny Daugherty is in charge of the AAEO office. She has two main responsibilities: Update UO’s Affirmative Action Plan every year with new numbers, and approve exceptions to the regular hiring rules. In practice, this means giving the wink-and-nod to appointments for UO administrators and their kids without requiring an AA compliant public posting and competitive search.

Ms Daugherty has failed to update the AA plan on time 7 out of the past 8 years. Some years she just blows it off completely. She’s late again this year – and won’t say when or if she will update. It’s not about resources – she has nearly twice the staff of comparable offices. Her incompetence has lead to one OFCCP investigation of UO, so far.

But she must be doing a hell of a job with the wink-and-nod. Our administration just gave her a 7% raise, to $105,316.

And when they came for the Asian-Americans …

5/31/2012 updates. The Volokh Conspiracy gives a round-up and some analysis. From Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle:

A national federation of more than 200 Indian-American groups has joined two other prominent Indian organizations in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to end race-conscious college admissions in a case involving the University of Texas at Austin.

and

Twenty-two current and former federal civil-rights officialshave joined in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, arguing that it oversteps not only the Education Department’s guidelines but also legal advice given to colleges by higher-education groups.

My impression of the many programs at UO that give racial and ethnic preferences to students and faculty is that while they are sometimes well intentioned, the people supporting them are either totally unaware of the law or trying to circumvent it. I’m hoping that the new VP for Diversity, Yvette Alex-Assensoh – who has a law degree – will move us towards more effective and legal alternatives based on SES instead.

5/30/2012: Scott Jaschik of InsideHigherEd on the amicus brief filed by Asian-American advocacy groups in *opposition* to affirmative action programs in Texas universities:

The brief filed Tuesday on behalf of Asian-American groups Tuesday focused less on the Texas admissions policy than on the consideration of race generally in college admissions. “Admission to the nation’s top universities and colleges is a zero-sum proposition. As aspiring applicants capable of graduating from these institutions outnumber available seats, the utilization of race as a ‘plus factor’ for some inexorably applies race as a ‘minus factor’ against those on the other side of the equation. Particularly hard-hit are Asian-American students, who demonstrate academic excellence at disproportionately high rates but often find the value of their work discounted on account of either their race, or nebulous criteria alluding to it,” says the brief.

UO physicist Steve Hsu had opinion pieces in the NY Times and Bloomberg on this issue a while back. And UO’s program to give $90,000 to departments that hire minorities, except Asian physicists, is described here. I’m not kidding. Maybe Tomlin should give the money for hiring Mormons?

New VP for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh

3/4/2012: Best of luck to Ms Alex-Assensoh, who was hired by CAS Dean Scott Coltrane and VP Robin Holmes after an open, reasonably transparent national search, and who has excellent credentials (PhD, law degree, research) and relevant experience at IU. I didn’t go to the interviews but on paper I though she looked like the best candidate. Let’s call her the VP for Equity for short. From the new VPEI website:

Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh, a political scientist and attorney who has served on the Indiana University faculty for the past 18 years and as dean for women’s affairs since 2008, has been named vice president for equity and inclusion at the University of Oregon. She will begin work at the UO in August.

The diversity position was originally created because former UO administrator Joe Wade sued Provost John Moseley for employment discrimination, and then insisted in the settlement that UO make some policy changes to encourage open searches, and transparent hiring processes. Good for Mr. Wade! Unfortunately UO is still a long way from doing the right thing when it comes to administrative hiring.

The office got off to a troubled start, then suffered through 5 years of mismanagement by Charles Martinez, who ironically was appointed by Frohnmayer and Moseley without any search at all, and then allowed to double-dip at an off campus job. Two years ago most of the relevant faculty and staff broke out in rebellion against Martinez, so Bean and Tomlin created a tenured position for Martinez in the Ed School, then President Lariviere dumped him as VP and sent him back to teaching.

Robin Holmes has already made some much needed changes in the office as interim head. Here’s hoping this office is now off on a good track and that the new VP will undertake a thorough review of  some of its more questionable programs, such as the UMRP, and move resources to fill-the-pipeline efforts that work and are legal, such as the OYSP. The fact that Ms Alex-Assensoh has a law degree seems like a good sign. Maybe she will even abandon the 5 year “diversity action plans” window-dressing effort.

Her application materials are here. This clip from her application letter looks very encouraging. “legally proper”, “best students”, and “just as likely to complete the program and find good jobs”:

Nice contrast to the inane “diversity *is* excellence” mantra that Martinez and Linda Brady used to spout.