Bargaining live-blog MMXX-II: PIPs for tenured faculty, Senate & IHP

In 125 CHILES, Thursday 1/16/2020, 12-3PM. 

MMXX-I is here. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets.

Recap from MMXX-II: The union proposed a new article on faculty Performance Improvement Plans, which would allow departments to make tenured faculty who had failed at research get their shit together or do more teaching. The fact that a faculty union is proposing serious consequences for those few members who are not doing their job and making others cover for them should come as no surprise to anyone who understands basic economics. But it will probably throw Board of Trustees Chair and one-time B-School Dean Chuck Lillis – who apparently believes that the median faculty is deadwood and that the union is their agent – for a loop.

Other important proposals include reasserting shared governance control of faculty hiring, and figuring out how to keep the temperature in PLC to somewhere between 60 and 85 Fahrenheit.

See below for the details, Chuck, because the next proposal will be PIPs for you and your Trustees.

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Bargaining live blog MMXX-I: Parking, Duck bonuses, Raises

Recap: With the latest data showing average US wages increasing at 3% a year, and Oregon  having moved into the top half of the US income distribution by state, the union’s proposal for 3% COLA/ATB raises is a baseline. The proposed 5% for Excellence raises, and 2% for internal equity over the 3-year contract fit with the administration’s stated priorities. Cecil calls this the 3-9-4 plan.

The administration’s lead negotiator Missy Matella was receptive to the union’s proposal to tax the athletic department and use the money for student scholarships, seemingly agreeing that the university could not continue allowing AD Mullens to use the Duck money bucket as his safe space.

The union’s new TRP buyout plan also got a warm reception from the admin side. On the other hand, they seemed a bit skeptical of the proposal to tie faculty salary floors to a percentage of top admin salaries (15% or so).

See below for the parking and childcare proposals.

Expect lots of questions from the administration at the next round, same time and place next Thursday.

12PM, EMU Crater Lake Room. Usual disclaimer: My opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. In the interests of transparency the union has posted the articles they will be presenting to the administration here: http://uauoregon.org/bargaining1920/ and more info is here. UAUO is also live-blogging here (Go down to the live blogging post, it’s in the comments.)

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Faculty union bargaining starts noon Jan 9, Crater Lake Room

This will be the third contract UAUO has bargained with the UO administration, or as they prefer to be called, “The University”. The Union bargaining team has 11 faculty (5 TTF, 6 Career) and 2 staff members, with a total of 196 years of UO experience. Dave Cecil will again be the Union’s lead negotiator:

Whilst the Administration’s team will be led by Missy Matella:

And presumably Brad Shelton will again be entrusted with “running the numbers”:

The Union has posted a handy informational page at http://uauoregon.org/bargaining/ with links to basic info on bargaining, bio-sketches of the Union bargaining team, and the current contract clauses. Proposals will be posted as bargaining progresses. Per agreement between the Union and the Administration, bargaining is open to the public. No video or audio recording is allowed and the audience is expected to behave respectfully – meaning no goat bleats on your phone, Ben.

As in past years I’ll live-blog most sessions with a mix of fact, opinion, and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking at http://uomatters.com/tag/faculty-union-united-academics-of-uo. Since the Union doesn’t really trust me, they will also have a facebook page with live updates, and will send out regular email updates. I assume the Administration’s well-paid PR flacks will also disseminate their own spin on bargaining, perhaps including the odd ad hominem attack like this one from the 2013 bargaining session.

In past bargaining the Union has won improvements in Career faculty job security, and increases in TTF salary relative to the AAU public university averages. Full professor pay is now up from 82 to 87% of the average, with similar increases for Assistants and even better for Associates, thanks to the “Excellence Raises”:

Presumably the Administration will again tell faculty that “the well is dry” when it comes to pay and benefits, while lobbying the Legislature for $40M in subsidies for the 2021 IAAF championships, giving fat raises and bonuses to administrators, hiring lawyers and consultants, and refusing to use the profits from Duck football for anything but AD salaries and subsidizing special-interest sports like golf, tennis, and beach volleyball.

 

CAS Admin gives Faculty Union some credit for 2020 merit raises

Just kidding, of course they don’t:

The MOU between UAUO and the UO Administration is here. The TTF merit pool is 1.625% by department and the NTTF merit pool is 2.125%, so if your raise is more than that you are excellenter than the rest of your department.

For TTF, the union also negotiated a 0.5% university-wide pool for external equity raises. Expect an announcement about those in a few weeks. For the external equity raises, you can see the comparator data, by department and rank, here. Although these data are a bit dated, basically if the “UO Avg as % of AAU PUBLIC Peers Avg” for your department/rank is lower than 90%, you can also expect an external equity raise in your January paycheck.

1000 Oregon State faculty sign to support union

From their union website at http://www.uaosu.org/ Presumably this means they believe they can win a card-check election, and will start soon. Long-time readers may remember that I started out opposed to the UO faculty union, but signed the card once I realized they were going to win, and I’m now the union treasurer. Even the UO administration now agrees -with a few exceptions – that the union has been a good thing for UO.

There is, of course, an anti-union blog, with 35 members, at https://www.osuexcellence.org/new-page/

  • No premier research-intensive university in the U.S.—no true aspirational peer of OSU—has a unionized tenure-track faculty. Recently, both the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota worked to successfully defeat unionization of their faculty, for reasons similar to those listed below.

I guess we’re not premier research-intensive aspirational peer for OSU. Most of their anti-union language is cut-pasted from other anti-union blogs. Berdahl and Gottfredson spent $1M or so, mostly tuition money, on anti-union consultants and lawyers to fight the UO union, including this defamatory open letter to the faculty, accusing me of being “anti-university”:

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From what I can tell from the emails, the letter came from UO General Counsel Randy Geller, Associate GC Doug Park, Faculty Athletics Representative Tim Gleason, VPAA Barbara Altmann, VPAA Doug Blandy, Consultant Marla Rae, HLGR’s Sharon Rudnick, William F. Gary and Kate Grado, and Michelle Cole of Gallatin Public Affairs – or at least they were in the loop.

I don’t know what OSU is doing in this regard.

Faculty union, administration agree on contract extension raises

My understanding is that this will soon go to the membership for a vote. I vote yes. If you’re not a member yet, the info on joining is here. Bottom line is that faculty will get average 3% raises in Jan 2018 (old contract) and now 2% in Jan 2019, and 2.125% in Jan 2020, variously distributed as ATB, merit, gender equity and external equity. These raises and the continuing promotion raises will mean that UO faculty pay will likely decline relative to peer institutions. The union pushed for additional merit pay but obviously the UO budget is tight. Next time we should call it “excellence pay” – that might get more traction.

The gender equity raise is conditional on UO’s soon to be hired consultant finding something in the pay regressions that no one else has been able to find. Assuming they don’t, that will be distributed as ATB. The external equity raise will go to faculty in departments where pay by rank is 90% below peers, or about 1/3 of the TTF.

As the statement below explains, the agreement for an extension rather than a new round of contentious bargaining (which would have started in January) was a cooperative one between the union and the administration. The UO faculty have suffered from a long series of incompetent and transient administrations. That era is over, and the union has responded appropriately.

UAUO Statement on Tentative Agreement for Contract Extension

Late last week, we were able to reach a tentative agreement with the administration for a two-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will be holding a ratification vote later this month. The agreement will only be finalized upon approval of a majority of voting members. This email contains a short summary of the agreement, followed by a longer explanation and a link to the tentative agreement. This tentative agreement is not to be confused with the final 3% average raise from our current contract which consists of a 2.25% merit pool and 0.75% across-the-board raise and will take effect on January 01, 2018.

Short summary: We agreed to a raise package for the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 years. This tentative contract extension reflects our desire to sustain salary growth & stability and correct observed inequities, even amid a highly constrained state and university budget context. Our current contract expires on June 30, 2018, but still includes a 3% raise package that goes into effect this coming January 01, 2018. The tentative contract extension builds on UA’s consecutive five-years of salary increases and will provide two additional years of salary raises, which will take effect in January 2019 and January 2020.

1. In the first year (beginning January 2019), the agreement is for a pool of money equal to 2.0% of the total salaries for the tenure-track faculty. The pool will be split between a 1.25% across-the-board raise for all TTF, and a .75% pool of money to address observed salary inequities by protected classes.
2. For the NTTF in the first year, there will be a 2.0% across-the-board raise.
3. In the second year (beginning January 2020), the TTF will have a pool of money equivalent to 2.125% of TTF salaries. This pool will be split between a 1.625% merit pool, and a .5% external equity pool.
4. In the second year, NTTF will have a 2.125% merit pool.

The negotiations with the university over this extension took place throughout this summer. We engaged in a relatively quick and quiet negotiation process with the university because both parties thought that a contract extension made sense in our current unsettled university climate. The state of the university’s budget it still abysmal and the additional pressure from the state about PERS funding has not helped. Many of you may recall the proposed double-digit tuition hikes and the woeful support from the state to cover university operating costs. The failure to find new revenue at the state level threatens higher education with continued pressure to increase tuition, which is something we have stood against. Recall that Oregon sits near the bottom in spending for higher education in the U.S. and in corporate tax receipts. This bind will continue to pose challenges to the UO and public education in Oregon.

Additionally, volatility in US immigration policy (see how nicely we put that?) has lead to deep concerns about the numbers of international students who will attend the university in the next few years. We also wanted to give our new Provost a chance to get a handle on his job before we entered into full-fledged negotiations with the university. The University of Oregon is not the typical research university, we have a strong commitment to shared governance and a deep respect for the work of the NTTF. We wanted to give Provost Banavar time to learn who we are before we bargained over sometimes contentious issues.

We are very aware that there are pressing issues that need to be addressed. Job stability for NTTF, both in length of employment and in assignment, still needs to be improved. Support for faculty with children is woefully lacking. The service that all faculty do is still extremely undervalued. Before we agreed to negotiate an extension, the Provost’s Office pledged to work with us over the next two years on these issues and more. We are putting some faith in the Provost’s Office, but we believe that they are committed to finding solutions to help build a better university.

Details and tentative agreement here.

Faculty union, administration negotiating for 2% raises for 1, 2 years

The current contract expires next summer, so bargaining would normally start in December. Faculty will get 0.75% across the board (ATB) and 2.25% merit pool raises in January 2018. This proposal is for a contract extension and 2% raises in 2019 and again in 2020. These would be part COLA or ATB, and part equity – which is a tough word to define.

During the last bargaining session the administration flip-flopped between raises for internal equity, external equity, and gender/racial equity. At one point they refused to talk about external equity. Then they refused to talk about gender/racial equity. Then they agreed to a working group on gender/racial equity, but not external equity. They’re currently in the process of hiring a consulting firm to study that.

Speaking of which – where are the bids? Three weeks and no reply to this simple public records request?

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: PR request Salary Equity proposals
Date: June 18, 2017 at 10:25:52 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of all bids submitted in response to:

RFP to Conduct Salary Equity Study for the University of Oregon Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks,
UO General / Budget Control – 900100
UO Central Budget – 950001
PCS Administration – 431150

at https://pcs.uoregon.edu/content/business-opportunities

I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
http://harbaugh.org

Here’s today’s letter from UAUO Pres Michael Dreiling regarding the contract extension:

Possible Collective Bargaining Agreement Extension

As the Spring term was coming to a close, I had a conversation with President Schill about the possibility of extending our current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by a year or two. The central idea was that we would come to an agreement about a new raise package for those years and leave the rest of the CBA in place until we could bargain a full Agreement.

I talked this idea over with our Executive Council and we all agreed it made sense to explore this idea with the UO administration. There were several factors that contributed to our thinking, but the main one concerned the unstable and uncertain budgeting future at the UO. We reasoned that locking in positive salary gains now, with no reductions to benefits, was something worth considering.

Dave Cecil and I have met with President Schill and VP Bill Brady twice now and we have the outlines of a proposal. Essentially, we’d be looking at a 2.0% raise in January 2019 and January 2020. In each year, the 2.0% would be divided between a COLA raise for all faculty and an equity raise for faculty who are entitled to one. We are still working out the details with the administration on how best to distribute equity money, but we are insisting on a mix of gender and diversity equity adjustments, adjustments based on our external comparators, and inversion/compression adjustments.

Agreeing to a two-year contract extension would delay bargaining for many needed non-salary improvements to the CBA. This concern weighs on our minds. The EC thought, however, that we will be in a better position to bargain with our new Provost after we have had a chance to build a relationship with him, and he has had a chance to acclimate himself to the university. We are confident that over the course of the next two years, he will learn that our concerns are shared by a great many people at UO, and he will want to work with us to solve them.

There is nothing final about any of our discussions, and I wanted to include you in the conversation as soon as was practicable. I welcome your feedback about this idea. Any agreement we reach with the UO will have to be ratified by the membership, so look for your opportunity to vote. We hope to have a proposal for you to vote on later in the summer.

In solidarity,
Michael Dreiling
UA President

Faculty union’s General Membership Meeting Tu 5-7PM

You must be a member to attend. You can join at the meeting. It’s a union, of course there will be beer.

Spring Membership Meeting

[United Academics] will be holding our spring Membership Meeting April 5 from 5-7pm in Gerlinger Lounge. A pasta dinner will be served at 5pm, and as usual children are welcome.

The agenda for the meeting is:

5pm Pasta dinner (gluten-free available) and drinks

5:30 Welcome and brief task force updates from: Equity; Violence Prevention and Safety; Sick Leave Bank and Child Care. 
Our members called for attention to these issues in the bargaining of our most recent CBA. We will hear updates on how each task force is planning to tackle these issues of importance to our community.

5:40 Resources for faculty: Interim Ombuds Officer Professor Jen Reynolds

5:55 Discussion on non-renewals and the on-going realignment.
What information about the process would you like UA to press for from the administration? What impacts do you foresee to your unit?

6:20 UA Member Awards

6:30 Report from the Representative Assembly and call for stewards

6:40 Prepping for A Better Oregon (see below) and two anti-worker ballot initiatives

7:00 Closing toast to the memory of Antonin Scalia.

APA reports higher pay for faculty at unionized public universities

One of the debates during the union organizing drive was whether or not a faculty union would really mean higher pay. There are surprisingly few studies on this. The American Psychology Association recently released a very detailed report on 2014-15 salaries for psychology faculty, here. The result is just correlational (despite the language used in the report) but presumably the endogeneity bias would work in the opposite direction of a causal effect of union bargaining, so these numbers are pretty impressive:

The presence of a collective bargaining unit in public institutions played a very important role in determining the salaries earned by psychology faculty. Salaries were consistently higher across all academic ranks for psychology faculty whose public institution had a collective bargaining unit. This pattern of results was found for both tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty.

TTF:

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NTTF:

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SCOTUS likely to rule compulsory taxation violates First Amendment

This is a crazy case. How can they even consider it? But oral arguments are today, and apparently the court is likely to rule that people can opt out of paying their federal taxes. Here’s Alito in a prior ruling, explaining why:

“Because the U.S. government takes many positions that have powerful political and civic consequences, compulsory taxes constitute a form of compelled speech and association that imposes a significant impingement on First Amendment rights,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority in 2012 in one of the cases.

Just kidding. the SCOTUS isn’t  going to ban mandatory taxes, they’re going to ban mandatory union dues. Alito’s real quote is here:

“Because a public-sector union takes many positions during collective bargaining that have powerful political and civic consequences, the compulsory fees constitute a form of compelled speech and association that imposes a significant impingement on First Amendment rights,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority in 2012 in one of the cases.

The NYT has more on the Friedrichs case here. Currently UAUO faculty and SEIU staff who don’t join their unions must pay “fair-share” fees (about 80% of dues) to cover the union’s cost of bargaining and enforcing the labor contract that they benefit from. If the Supremes rule against this practice, probably in June, public employee unions will be subject to the same sort of free-riding behavior that the government would face if people could opt-out of paying their taxes.

Bowl of Dicks trial reveals UOPD’s casual spying on employees

10/8/2015: This is from the trial transcripts, which I’m slowly getting through:

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8/4/2015: UO administrator accessed employee email account without notice

Here’s the description of recent events, from an anonymous correspondent:

Administrators Are Permitted to Monitor Emails without Notice or Authorization

Consider the following scenario: Alice,* a staff member with a disability, has been ordered by her doctors to utilize her federally protected leave in order to recover from symptoms emerging from a potentially hostile work environment. Alice has been in contact with the Union, who are investigating the climate at her department for possible discrimination.

While Alice is away in recovery, Bob,* her supervisor and a department administrator, somehow acquires full access to all of Alice’s emails. Bob does not notify Alice that he intends to access her information, nor does he seek authorization from Information Security, General Counsel, or the Union. Rather, Bob simply unilaterally seizes full, unsupervised, and ongoing access to the entirety of Alice’s email account, including her correspondences with the Union.

Such an obvious conflict of interest and invasion of privacy would seem ludicrous if it wasn’t for the fact that it recently occurred at the University of Oregon.

As soon as this data breach came to light, the Union contacted UO’s Chief of Information Security Officer (CISO) to clarify what exactly the criteria were for an administrator gaining access to an employee’s email. The CISO responded that the UO does not offer “wholesale access to another employee’s email.” There would have to be a “specific request” driven by a “business need” and submitted through the proper channels. If such criteria are met, then Information Security will attempt to provide the specific information, and only that information, which was requested. The CISO continued, “The only time we would give over all email would be in the case of a subpoena or other legal request.”

Under such criteria, Bob had obviously violated university policy by accessing and monitoring all of Alice’s emails during her absence from the office. The Union reported the data breach immediately, in conformity with the newly minted executive policy on Data Security Incidence Response.

A few weeks later, the Union inquired with the Director of Employee & Labor Relations (DLR) at Human Resources to inquire after the progress of the investigation. What a difference a few weeks can make! The DLR responded that there had been no violation of policy, because UO in fact has no policy at all restricting administrator access to an employee’s email.

The Union reached out again to the CISO to clarify. The CISO responded that he believed that the situation was handled poorly, and that he did not believe that Bob was “philosophically” justified in accessing Alice’s data. Unfortunately, he admitted, there are no “specific policies” in place at UO at present to prevent, discourage, or reprimand an administrator who unilaterally decides that they have a “business need” to access and monitor an employee’s personal data without their prior knowledge or consent.

The CISO seemed as disturbed by this state of affairs as the Union, noting that it “raises a need for a procedure to be put in place regarding access to an employee’s email account” and that he “intend(s) to write up a procedure for situations like this” which will “hopefully alleviate situations like this in the future by providing a standard process.”

The Union applauds the CISO’s pledge to put policies in place that will provide the necessary checks and balances to reign in administrators who feel justified in violating their employee’s privacy at will.

The response at HR has been less encouraging however. As of this writing, the DLR has chosen to fully back management in this matter. Amazingly, rather than stand up for the rights of one of the most vulnerable members of the UO community in a case of discrimination, harassment, and gross invasion of privacy, HR has chosen instead to escalate the harassment by pursuing disciplinary action against Alice on behalf of Bob.

And as of this writing, Bob still retains full access to Alice’s email.

So, until the new policies are in place, be careful what you write and who you write it to.

* All names have been changed.

It’s more than two years since I started the thread below, trying to find out UO’s policy for email monitoring and access. Page down for the entire history. Obviously there are situations when supervisors need access to an employee’s email, e.g. a public records request or a court order, an emergency illness or death, etc. On the other hand there are situations where that access would be very problematic, e.g. like that above, or when an employee has a complaint about the supervisor, or has used UO email to contact a doctor or counselor or lawyer, etc. So most universities have a sensible policy along the lines of UC’s, here:

An electronic communications holder’s consent shall be obtained by the
University prior to any access for the purpose of examination or disclosure of the
contents of University electronic communications records in the holder’s
possession, except as provided for below. …

1. Authorization. Except in emergency circumstances (as defined in Appendix
A, Definitions) in accordance with Section IV.B.2, Emergency
Circumstances, or except for subpoenas or search warrants in accordance with
Section IV.B.6, Search Warrants and Subpoenas, such actions must be
authorized in advance and in writing by the responsible campus Vice
Chancellor or, for the Office of the President, the Senior Vice President,
Business and Finance (see Section II.D, Responsibilities).1
This authority may not be further redelegated. Authorization shall be limited to the least perusal of contents and the least action necessary to resolve the situation.  …

3. Notification. The responsible authority or designee shall at the earliest
opportunity that is lawful and consistent with other University policy notify
the affected individual of the action(s) taken and the reasons for the action(s)
taken.

Each campus will issue in a manner consistent with law an annual report
summarizing instances of authorized or emergency nonconsensual access
pursuant to the provisions of this Section IV.B, Access Without Consent,
without revealing personally identifiable data.

UO’s policy is here. It’s not as cogent, but it also seems to ban the sort of blanket access that is described above. And UO IT also passes on the following helpful advice, here:

  • Never share your password with anyone.  This includes your supervisor, co-workers, and IT staff.
  • There may be some destinations (such as China, Russia, and other areas overseas) where it may be difficult or impossible to prevent your computer from being attacked and electronically compromised.

China and Russia indeed.

8/2/2013: UO has no policies limiting which administrators can read your email or monitor your web use, or why. From Dave Hubin’s PRO:

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The UO administration’s secret plan to abolish the UO Senate

1/4/2015: The UO administration’s secret plan to abolish the UO Senate

UO Matters operatives have obtained a “confidential” memo from former UO General Counsel Randy Geller to former Interim President Bob Berdahl, recommending that Berdahl abolish the University Senate and prohibit most faculty members from being members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, Faculty Advisory Counsel, Student Conduct committee, the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, etc.

Geller made this recommendation three weeks after the administration  admitted defeat over the faculty union. The full memo is here. As you can see it advises:

1) abolition of the current UO Senate and all its committees;

2) creation of a new faculty-only Senate, limited to making recommendations to the administration;

3) membership on key committees to be restricted to non-bargaining unit faculty; and

4) other committees replaced by “administrative advisory groups” serving at the president’s pleasure.

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Geller’s proposal seems insane, but key parts of it have already been implemented, and it seems the likely source for the statements Interim President Coltrane made at the December emergency Senate Exec meeting about the need for changes in faculty governance “given our new unionized environment”. Coltrane has kept the administrative advisory groups that Bob Berdahl and Mike Gottfredson set up to replace Senate committees, such as the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics, the Budget Advisory Group, and the Public Records Administrative Advisory Group.

Coltrane has also been working with new UO AVP Chuck Triplett (the former OUS apparatchik who helped Pernsteiner fire Richard Lariviere) and new University Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms to set up a President-appointed Policy Advisory Committee, and revoke the faculty authority that has existed since the founding of the University of Oregon and which is a normal part of faculty governance at other universities.

In addition, last year BOT Chair Chuck Lillis went along with Geller and Berdahl’s plan to cut the Senate out of the Delegation of Authority debate, and tried to do the same again last month with Triplett and Coltrane’s plan to drop the Senate from the policy development and approval process.

You might ask why our university’s top lawyer would attempt to hide his legal opinions about faculty governance from the faculty – and why people like Dave Hubin would help him keep the secret. You might also ask why the our VPs for Academic Affairs, Doug Blandy and Barbara Altman, would try to hide their advice about grading in the event of a GTF strike from the faculty who assign grades. Maybe Scott Coltrane will have some answers at the next Senate meeting, Wednesday, Jan 14th.

1/13/2015 update:  UO won’t share shared governance advice

We’ve had a series of attacks on shared governance over the last few years, led by Bob Berdahl and Mike Gottfredson, but unfortunately continuing under Scott Coltrane with the attempt to subvert the Policy on Policies and the UO Constitution.

So what sort of legal advice have our Johnson Hall colleagues been getting? They don’t want to tell us. I’ll go out on a limb and say Doug Park wrote this response to my public records request below. Not exactly trust inspiring.

The only way the faculty is going to learn about these attacks is from leaks of “confidential” documents to UO Matters. So keep them coming!

From: “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Date: January 13, 2015 at 5:02:57 PM PST
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-151

01/13/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

Given the broad scope of your request, we anticipate it would be necessary to sort through hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of documents to pull documents that are responsive to your request. In addition, you requested documents that you know are confidential because you specifically requested “legal advice.” Accordingly, your request is denied.

Thank you for contacting the University with your request.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton

Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

1/8/2015 update: Johnson Hall admins won’t talk about Geller / Berdahl memo

Camilla Mortenson has the story in the Eugene Weekly, here. It seems Coltrane, Park, and Hubin won’t talk about the memo or about the extent to which it continues to guide the thinking of Johnson Hall and the new Board of Trustees. Assistant UO PR Flack Julie Brown is the highest ranking person who will talk on the record – and even she won’t disavow this plan? Yikes. I’ll post additional docs as I get them.

1/7/2015 update:

In the Senate Exec meeting today Dave Hubin attempted to argue that the administration had rejected Geller’s proposals. When I left for a bathroom break Dave followed me out, asking what other documents I had about this proposal. I told him I wouldn’t tell him because it might reveal my source. Let’s just say the well isn’t dry. Hubin also suggested that I make a public records request if I wanted to learn more, so I have:

Subject: Documents from the UO GC’s office on legal advice regarding shared governance
Date: January 7, 2015 at 9:34:40 PM PST
Cc: David Hubin <hubin@uoregon.edu>, doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Scott Coltrane <coltrane@uoregon.edu> To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for any documents from the UO General Counsel’s office (or outside attorneys) providing advice to the UO President dated from 1/1/2010 to the present, on topics involving:

1) The UO Senate and shared governance in general;

2) the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics;

3) the Senate Transparency Committee and the Public Records Administrative Advisory Group;

4) open meetings for the UO Senate, Senate committees, and Administrative Advisory Groups.

I am ccing current interim General Counsel Doug Park, as he should have access to the GC’s records and should be easily able to provide these documents, and Interim President Scott Coltrane for the same reason.

I’ve also cced presidential assistant Dave Hubin, as he suggested that I make this public records request at the Senate Executive Committee meeting today and recently told the STC that future PRAAG meetings would be closed, and may have copies of the advice on these matters.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

 

Faculty Union News and NTTF workload rumor control

Sent out by United Academics today:

Non-tenure-track Faculty Professional Responsibilities Policy

Over the coming weeks, all units around campus will begin crafting workload policies for non-tenure track faculty. Deans and department heads will be providing input in this process, but in the spirit of shared governance and the collective bargaining agreement, the primary responsibility for developing these policies rests with faculty. To facilitate this important work, United Academics has some crafted some general guidelines for crafting NTTF workload policies; to access them, please click here.

Statement on NTT Workloads in CAS

In recent days a rumor has been making the rounds that the standard workload for NTT faculty throughout the College of Arts and Sciences should be nine courses, with an additional service requirement, and that United Academics approves of this proposal. This rumor is not true. United Academics neither approves of nor requires any such thing. For United Academics’ full statement on this matter, please click here.

Reminder: General Membership Meeting on Wednesday

All union members are invited to attend our Fall membership meeting this Wednesday, November 5, 5:00 to 7 pm. There will be half an hour for food and drink, starting at 5:00. Official business begins at 5:30. 

We have a full agenda. First and foremost, we will be discussing the potential GTFF strike & faculty rights and responsibilities. We will have a presentation on the bargaining platform and a Q&A with the bargaining team. We will also be talking about ways that our union can have an impact on the future of the university.

Wednesday, November 5

Ford Alumni Center

Burrito bar and drinks at 5 pm

Meeting at 5:30 pm

See you there!

The Presidential Search

Partly in response to requests from United Academics and the University Senate, the Board of Trustees’ Presidential Search Committee has scheduled a “Faculty and Staff Forum” for Thursday, November 6, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the EMU Walnut Room. We hope for a good turn out at this meeting, where colleagues will have their one opportunity to make nominations, to pose questions, and to offer input, directly and publicly, to the search committee. If you are unable to attend or would rather communicate in private, please take a minute to fill out the committee’s online survey or email the committee directly at PresSearch@uoregon.edu.