Live blog bargaining, Act V: 1/22/13

Updates, posted on request of VPAA Doug Blandy and Jean Stockard.

UO Matters said to Blandy:

Hi Doug – a bit about your claim UO has not engaged in retaliation, here: http://uomatters.com/2013/01/live-blog-bargaining-v-12213.html

Blandy replied:

Bill, That was not my claim. I stated that when people come forward with a grievance I believe the institution is on notice to be hyper-vigilent that retaliation does not take place. D.

Jean Stockard (PPPM Prof, see below) says:

Blandy’s statement is certainly contradicted by my experiences when I tried to help students from another country (actions that were both morally and legally required). The evidence we gathered through my legal case indicate that he was centrally involved in both the planning and execution of very severe retaliation.

I asked Blandy if he wants to respond to this, nothing yet.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Synopsis:
The central scene was the administration’s claim that UO does not retaliate, so the union needn’t worry about putting protections in the contract or making them subject to binding outside arbitration. Bullshit:

I’m thinking about the Jean Stockard case – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here. That’s quite a bit different from a baldfaced claim there was none. 

And, from Law School prof emeritus Cheyney Ryan, in the comments:

Doug Blandy is aware that his own office has engaged in retaliation. (He and I have communicated about it.) In the fall of 2011, his predecessor Russ Tomlin issued a public statement charging me with “causing turmoil” by bringing sexual harassment concerns to the attention of the administration. My attorney estimated that Tomlin’s action violated 19 federal, state, and university policies on, among other things, retaliation. When I brought this to the attention of his superiors they did not argue; a resolution was reached within a week. I had lots going for me, though–I was a very senior faculty member that had just been offered a post at Oxford University. Faculty need protection from retaliation like this, which is why they need a union.

Why sacrifice your credibility to support Rudnick, Doug? Surely you will want it for something more important, someday.

Then there’s this threat from Randy Geller, sent to Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC Chair Brian McWhorter this summer, threatened retaliation for meddling with his efforts to sneak Rob Mullens’s drug scheme through without faculty or public review:

… Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon
 

I wonder if Gottfredson ever reprimanded Geller for doing this? And then there’s Bob Berdahl’s attempt to smear my reputation as professor, retaliation for posting these news reports on him.

Imagine what happens if you are non-tenured? No, don’t. Safer to keep your head down, given Blandy’s role in promotion and tenure.

Cast of Characters:
Geller seems to have been permanently banned, Mauer is off this week.
Rudnick present @ $400, also an earnest looking Blandy, sour-faced Gleason, 2 Harrang staffers – at $75 each?

1/22/13 Live-blog:

Barbara Altmann – or whoever is writing the official administration blog for her, has posted a statement about the bargaining, here.

Sharon Rudnick does not start by telling the bargaining team about how she gave up $400 an hour in tobacco company billings by spending her Monday honoring MLK, washing the feet of homeless vets suffering from PTSD on the downtown mall. Very classy move, keeping her good works quiet.

Professional Responsibilities: Admin caves, will agree to union proposal for every unit having its own written collaborative policy on responsibilities, with Dean or Provost having ultimate responsibility. They cave again: overload decisions may be grieved (not arbitrated by outsider.)

Psaki: Glad to hear you agree admin should have policies and abide by them. Deans are too busy, units must draft, and deans will modify and approve. Rudnick: Looking very weary, we give up on this, we will not dictate policies, faculty will have voice. Blandy: Allows for lots of faculty input. Green: Doesn’t specify a process. Rudnick: Yes, it’s possible a Dean could run around the faculty. Gleason: Sure, but he wouldn’t last long. (Really? Faculty review Deans around here?) Pratt: Current policy on tenure policy is that dept faculty vote to approve any policy. Why not do that here? Rudnick: This doesn’t prevent that. Pratt: Fine, why not require that? Rudnick: confused. Gleason: Difference between contract and policy. Current practice should continue. (He *really* doesn’t want al these great current practices made part of the agreement! Cecil: Would the process and outcome be grievable if it violated current policy and practice? Rudnick: No. faculty just make recommendations, Dean and Bean can ignore them. Cecil: What if Dean decided not to follow current policy. Grievable? Move on.

Dues deduction:
Rudnick: Not that changed. Admin will not do political deductions. Union needs to deal with the religious objections, not the admin. (I’m not clear on the fair-share part. Has the admin agreed to this yet? I don’t think so.)

Non-Discrimination: 
Rudnick: Admin (she’s given up claiming she’s the UO for now) would let employee and union decide how to procede – internal, grievance, arbitration. Cecil: Here you will have to agree to allow arbitration. Davidson: Start with internal process, then choose between arbitration and court. Rudnick: right. Rudnick runs circles around Cecil on how to determine a standard for unlawful versus lawful discrimination/consideration. Adopt Oregon or ERB law or something specific – can’t just say “you can’t discriminate”. Green: Is there a place online where UO states its sexual harassment policy? Blandy: Yes, several places.

Break time. Back.

Art 15, Grievance Procedure: 

Long discussion about grievances. The union wants to be allowed to file grievances on behalf of members. The admin wants to require a specific faculty member or group to come forward. Suppose it’s a case of a department systematically paying females assistant professors less. They would be unlikely to be willing to file a grievance, because of all the possibilities of systematic retaliation, e.g. when they come up for tenure. Note that this retaliation could even be outside UO – branded as a troublemaker in their field. Green wants union to be able to act on their behalf. Rudnick does not – people must be willing to accept the consequences of filing a grievance.
Blandy denies UO has ever retaliated, “not in our culture” – not clear if he is clueless or disingenuous – looks very sincere. Chuckles from the room.
I’m thinking about the Jean Stockardcase – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. Note that UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here
Does Doug Blandy really think he would have got his $170K VP for Ac Affairs job if he’d complained about something substantial to JH sometime earlier in his career, got no satisfaction, made the complaint publicly, and embarrassed, say, Jim Bean? Or that this will never happen again with Bean’s replacement?
More discussion of timelines. Boring, except union wants 365 days for discrimination, admins want a month or two. This came up in the 2008 Presidential election – Republicans wanted tight deadline, Obama wanted a looser one.

Art 16: Arbitration: Important, but I’m snoozing. Read it yourself. Rudnick doesn’t want to let grievant, witnesses use work time to resolve work time. Admin will let them have time off, but union must pay for the time!? Cecil: What exactly is your problem with this so I can craft compromise language?
Davidson: Suppose a faculty member pleads guilty to smoking pot. Could they be fired? Could that go to arbitration? Cecil: Give an example. Rudnick: Suppose you forge a parking pass. Arbitrator reinstates. That’s stealing, UO is not required to re-employ them. Davidson: Suppose I publish a critique of Knight’s labor practices. Arbitratable or not? Rudnick: May be different points of view?
Q from the floor: Suppose a fac member is convicted of producing and selling drugs. Fire em? Rudnick: Could, if the law says there’s a connection to ability to perform job. I think it would affect your ability to be a professor. (Suppose it was civil disobedience?) Under admin’s language you could be fired, go to arbitration, but arbitrator could not order UO to reinstate you. Cecil: That will depend on what the “discipline” section of the contract says. Pot – soon legal under Oregon law, but probably not federal. Can you be fired for that? We’ll know soon.
Rudnick: Will call Cecil about Thursday – union has some counters to counters, Rudnick may have more counters.

Update: Bargaining session III, 1/8/13 live-blog

1/9/13 Update: 

Subject: counterproposals
Date: January 9, 2013 9:16:03 AM PST
To: Tim Gleason , Doug Blandy

Hi Tim and Doug, can you send me a copy of the administrative counter proposals? I’d like to add them to the info at http://uomatters.com/2012/12/facultyadministration-bargaining.html so that people can make comments. 

I’ll post their response. Note that the union is posting all the proposals they have put on the table within a few days, from whence I got the info for the CBA discussion pages in the link.

On WednesdayJan 9, 2013, at 11:27 AM, Doug Blandy wrote: Bill, The university is planning to post counter proposals at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/  D.


Update: Blandy said he’d hired a consultant to fix Tomlin’s faculty handbook problem. Interesting. Let’s see what info they’ll share about that:

Subject: faculty handbook consultantDate: January 8, 2013 9:17:35 PM PST
To: Doug Blandy , Barbara Altmann
Hi Doug and Barbara –
At the bargaining session today there was something about UO hiring a consultant to work on the faculty handbook/Ac Af website problem. I’d appreciate it if you could send me info on what work has been contracted for, name of the firm doing it, and an estimate off the cost. I’d like to post it on UO Matters, I think many faculty would be interested.

Quick direct response from Doug, which I certainly appreciate, explaining I got it wrong:

Bill, Academic Affairs has not hired a consultant to work on the faculty handbook. We are working (consulting) with the UO library’s Interactive Media Group on developing a web based equivalent of a faculty handbook. The IMG routinely works with UO faculty and units towards the development of web based projects. 

So, correction: It’s an internal media service just to do the web design for the handbook site:

Live-Blog Disclaimer:

These are my summaries of my interpretation of the meaning of the statements of the various people, with some opinion inserted, sometimes in ( ) sometimes not. Not quotes unless in quotes. These are my opinions, not those of the union or its committees. I have not been part of any of the union bargaining team meetings.

For the anti-union view of the sessions, see here. For the admin’s view see the “Around the O” here. No, sorry, don’t. Neither has any real information. Just keep reading UO Matters.

Geller is AWOL again. For info on what our students are paying Rudnick, see here. She showed up with a helper lawyer today, too, wonder what that’s costing us.

Abstract: 

This will have to wait til the Thursday session concludes. Very briefly, Rudnick has been doing some homework, now seems to understand the basics of academic rank etc. She spent a fair amount of time trying on a helpful, charitable persona. This would go over better if each little story wasn’t costing us $20:

Rudnick chit chat’s about her beautiful hand-made South African AIDS charity necklace, which she offers to sell off her neck, for the cause. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one:  

We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of charity than any other positive commandment, because charity is the sign of a righteous man.” Moses Maimonides, 1135-1204  

It’s good to promote self-sufficiency, but it’s very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motive for charitable giving:

Live-Blog:

Rudnick: Severability is OK. Mauer: Let’s sign and date. Historic day – something has been agreed to. Something else also OK, missed it.

Strike and Lockout:

Rudnick: Suppose SEIU strikes – can’t have it that faculty don’t do any work typically done by them – e.g. copying.

Handbook:

Rudnick: We are going to try and “consolidate” this on AcAf website. We will not do a hard copy – too much work for us! Policy changes will be posted ut we wil not be responsible for notifying faculty. WTF? No notice of a policy change unless we have a statutory requirement to do so? Sneaky shit.

Mauer: Why not just agree to a format? Rudnick: We just don’t want to promise anything that would be clear. Mauer call’s her on it. Green: What happens when a policy is changed? How do faculty track what’s been changed (e.g. changes in tenure rules).  Rudnick: Doesn’t get it how badly Tomlin screwed this up. (This is not a good place to pick a fight. Just give up on this, admins. You screwed it up, lost credibility, here’s a chance to fix it.) Blandy: We will keep an archive, honest. We did a survey! We publish e-news! Rudnick starts lecturing us and Green on what should be in the contract, what shouldn’t. Bizarre. “We are not willing to write down those levels of details in the contract”. Mauer: This proposal doesn’t come out of thin air. Find the right balance. Rudnick: Blandy’s hired a consultant to figure out how to do this. OMFG. Mauer asks specifics,  Blandy has been working on this for 10 weeks and is working on a dynamic format for this. He’ll go back and ask about archives. This was the whole point for bringing this up – they are losing credibility quickly on it.

Workload, Professional responsibilities.

Rudnick leaves the room, she’s going to bring out the Geller on this one. Comes back, chit-chat about Rudnick’s beautiful hand-made south african AIDS charity necklace, she offers to sell it for charity. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one. Good to promote self-sufficiency, very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motives for charitable giving.

Geller arrives, looking shaky. Rudnick: Classification, rank, title. Goal is to define carefully here. E.g. Clinical or Prof of Practice is a NTTF with … details go in the person’s job description. Don’t want to necc put those in contract, so we’ve taken some detail out of your proposal.

Lecturer: Primary responsibility … Researcher Assistant classification goes away for new hiring but will be grandfathered in. Lots of details here, need to see printed copy. Formalize “Acting Assistant Professor” if you are hired into a TT job but haven’t quite finished writing that dissertation. Lecturers could do graduate instruction, Instructors would do undergraduates, mostly. Blandy: No bright line. Titles like “distinguished” are fine. Lots of nuts an bolts stuff here, they are all working it out constructively I think.

Wake up people: Rudnick: Espy is planning on moving Research Assistants(?) out of the faculty, and as Cecil points out then move them out of the bargaining unit. This move should make a lot of the anti-union people happy, my impression is that union support is strong w/in this group. Geller: No new hires as Res Assistant. Mauer: If new people are R Assoc, it’s OK. If new people doing same type of work are R assistants (therefore out of unit) big concern. Rudnick will go back to Espy, quickly, to get more info on what she is planning.

Break for caucus. They’re back, sans Geller.

Mauer: More on your new “adjunct” classification. Rudnick: Departments could give give any title, based on current practice. They have no rank. Three year cap on how long you can be an adjunct. Up or out?

Rudnick, Section 3: Def of career NTTF: Clinical prof, prof or practice, research prof, librarian, lecturer, instructor. Cecil: need to add back current Research Assistants. Can be hired as an adjunct, then can move into NTTF.

Post-docs? Lots of confusion. Rudnick: fall w/in existing classifications or set up a new one? Confusion reigns. Rudnick: Where do you put the Yoga Instructor? Cecil: As instructors. We want to make them career NTTFs. Back to Post-docs. Rudnick: hire as adjuncts? We agree adjuncts should not be permanent part time employees – up or out.

Rudnick: As we go forward you will see that we are OK for grievances about classification etc, but will not allow outside arbitration for academic matters. Also, we will simplify grievance procedure.

Mauer: Why restrict someone from applying for promotion from adjunct until they’ve had 3 years FTE? Rudnick: Admin could promote someone on their own call though.

Cecil: So university could keep people for three years , let them go, hire another person for another 3 years, etc? Rudnick: That’s not our intent. Lots of back and forth on this, pretty cooperative.

Contracts:

Rudnick: Appointment comes in writing from the Provost, not verbal. Other information will be given separately within reasonable time. Seems good, speeds up hiring. Pratt: For TTF, offers usually include informal offer info – time til tenure, etc. Need to put that into this section too. All agree.

Rudnick: Info must include at minimum: professional responsibilities, expectations about performances, criteria and procedures for evaluation, promotion, tenure and post tenure reviews …

Rudnick: Section 3. Distinction between funding-contingent (grant) vs not contingent. Suppose it’s not funded from a grant: 1 year appointment for lowest rank, up to 3 years. If it’s grant contingent, no promises beyond one year (except for TTF).

Rudnick is saying that they will not commit to permanent NTTF contracts or automatic renewal. Will commit to May 1 or 15 renewal dates, but without penalty, unenforceable. Email for appointment/denial letters. Check those spam filters.

More on the 3 FTE limit on adjunct appointments.

Rudnick: Tenure – usually 6 years unless negotiated shorter clock, credit for prior service will be in the appointment letter. Anderson: Need to spell out hires that come in with tenure. Rudnick: whoops, we do.

Denial of tenure. Rudnick: 12 month final contract.

Mauer: Librarians? Rudnick: 1,2,3 year contracts dependent on rank, rather than current practice. Cecil: So everyone will get a year shorter contract than they do now? Rudnick: We’ll look into that.

Mauer: What did you delete regarding future employment rights of adjuncts? Rudnick: Yes. Contracts expire, no notice required. Not willing to make a contractual commitment, but policy is not to give 0.49 appointments. (Tough one – lots of people *want* 0.49 appointments. Others don’t. Rudnick wants flexibility, on this – leave it out of CBA. I agree with her, but I don’t know how much abuse there is in other departments. Cecil: Wants to put it in contract that admin won’t do this to avoid paying benefits. Me: But what about the (perhaps small number) of people who want exactly that – a job with no benefits, rather than no job with no benefits.

Mauer: Sec 15 and 16, credit for prior service.

Adjourn.

Bean’s uniongram

11/30/2012: I was at this bargaining meeting. Bean was not. At the insistence of the union, the bargaining meetings will be open and live-blogging will be allowed. In the spirit of cooperation and professional collaboration, that’s all I have to say just now. The comments are open, of course.

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 30, 2012 

Colleagues: 

The University of Oregon’s labor contract bargaining team met on Nov. 20 with the bargaining team of the new faculty union, United Academics, to establish ground rules for negotiating a first contract. The parties agreed on several procedural issues and outlined a possible schedule and locations for future bargaining sessions. 

The next bargaining session is likely to be in mid-December. The University is represented by Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy; School of Journalism and Communication Dean Tim Gleason, and chief negotiator Sharon Rudnick of the Eugene law firm Harrang Long Gary Rudnick PC. 

The University has several fundamental goals for the negotiations. Underlying all of them is a commitment to maintaining academic excellence and shaping a contract based on what is best for all UO stakeholders. These are important negotiations and I believe we have begun with a spirit of cooperation and professional collaboration. 

Through my office and other means, we will regularly update everyone on important developments in the negotiations.  

Regards,
Jim

Blandy and Altman to *both* replace Tomlin

2/21/2012: Not what was expected:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that two highly respected University of Oregon faculty members have been selected to oversee the institution’s extensive academic affairs portfolio.  Doug Blandy has been appointed senior vice provost for academic affairs, and Barbara Altman will serve as vice provost for academic affairs on a half-time basis.  Both roles are two-year, renewable positions.

The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for a broad range of the UO’s academic appointments, programs and initiatives including all faculty personnel matters, curriculum coordination and assessment and program review.  Promotion and tenure as well as the non-tenure track faculty are also important parts of the portfolio.  In addition, the office oversees a variety of reporting units including the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Academic Extension, the Labor Education and Resource Center and the Morse Center for Law and Politics.

Given the breadth of this portfolio and the complementary strengths Barbara and Doug each bring to these positions, the University of Oregon will be extremely well served by these two appointments.

Doug has extensive administrative experience at the University of Oregon.  He is currently director of the Arts and Administration Program and a faculty member in the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts (AAA).  He is also associate dean for academic affairs for AAA.  In 2005, he served as acting dean for the school.

Doug has made significant contributions to the university through service on a variety of committees including the UO Senate, Senate Budget Committee, Faculty Personnel Committee and the Center on Diversity and Community.

Doug has said that his priorities as senior vice provost will be to “encourage dialogue and collaboration; reinforce vision, risk taking and creativity; and promote excellence among faculty and staff colleagues.”

Barbara is director of the Oregon Humanities Center and a professor of French in the Romance Languages Department.  Her half-time appointment in academic affairs will allow Barbara to continue as the Oregon Humanities Center director, a post she has held since 2008.

Barbara is the recipient of several teaching awards including the University of Oregon’s Ersted Teaching Award in 1997 and the Thomas E. Herman Teaching award in 2011.  She also served as department head of the Romance Languages Department from 2005 to 2008 and was recently elected to the executive council of the Modern Language Association.  Barbara has contributed to the University of Oregon through service on committees such as the Faculty Advisory Council, the International Affairs Advisory Council, University Senate, the Senate Budget Committee and the Women’s Studies Committee.

Barbara has said, “The position is a great opportunity to provide leadership in this time of change and transition.  I look forward to assisting in the coordination of the broad sweep of programs, schools, interests and agendas of the Office of Academic Affairs.  I strongly support the well being of the UO faculty and the integrity of our academic programs.”

Doug will transition into his new role on a half-time basis from March 15 to June 15.  He will work along side Russ Tomlin who will retire as senior vice provost in June.  After that point, Doug will assume the senior vice provost position full-time.  Barbara will start her half-time appointment as vice provost for academic affairs on July 1.

Please join me in congratulating Doug and Barbara as they begin new chapters in their service to the University of Oregon.

Lorraine Davis
Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

I wonder what sort of retirement gig they will find for Tomlin.

VP for Academic affairs videos online

2/2/2012:

All Senior Vice Provost candidate materials, including recordings of the open forums, are available on the Provost website at: http://provost.uoregon.edu/finalist-for-the-senior-vice-provost-office-of-academic-affairs/

Please provide candidate feedback to me by 9am, Monday, February 6th at provost@oregon.uoregon.edu.

Lorraine Davis
Acting Senior Vice President and Provost