Acting Provost Frances Bronet to leave UO for Illinois Tech

We’ll miss her – one of the few bright lights in the UO administration. A hint to her new colleagues: Bronet ends with a hard t.

From: “President’s Office” <pres@uoregon.edu> Subject: Acting Provost Bronet leaving the UO
Date: May 5, 2015 at 9:03:18 AM PDT

Campus Community,

It is always bittersweet when a respected colleague accepts a new opportunity, and today we have exactly that, as France Bronet, acting provost and senior vice president, accepts the role of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Frances has been a great friend to me since I joined the university in 2008. Her counsel has been invaluable, particularly during my time as interim president.

Since accepting the deanship in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 2005, Frances has earned the respect of the entire campus community. A tireless advocate for faculty, she has done a fantastic job as provost, leading the charge on our strategic planning efforts, while meeting the day-to-day challenges of the university with passion and professionalism.

The timing of this change will coincide with the arrival of our incoming president, Michael Schill, and my return to the role of provost. I fully anticipate a smooth transition.

Brook Muller, acting dean in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, will remain in his role until a national search is conducted.

The loss that Frances’ departure represents to the University of Oregon cannot be overstated. Her contributions have been many and we will feel her lasting impact for years to come.

Please join me in congratulating Frances Bronet on her new role. We thank her for her dedication and her friendship.

Sincerely, Scott Coltrane

Interim President

What sort of search did IIT run? One dominated by their faculty:

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Coltrane and Bronet make two wrongs right

First it was Interim President Scott Coltrane’s decision to tell Interim UO General Counsel Doug Park to drop the counterclaim by UO and Coach Dana Altman against the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape.

Now Interim Provost Frances Bronet has told the GC’s office to return the student’s confidential counseling records, which University Counseling and Testing Director Shelly Kerr had turned over on Doug Park’s request. Bronet has also issued a strong guarantee that the confidentiality of UO student counseling records will not be broken again.

Josephine Woolington has more on the national implications of Kerr’s decision to turn over the records to Park, and Bronet’s reversal of it, in the RG here.

MEMORANDUM

March 20, 2015

TO: Campus Community

FROM: Provost Frances Bronet

RE: UO’s Commitment to Confidentiality of Student Counseling Records

Last December, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) obtained copies of therapy records maintained by the University Counseling and Testing Center (UCTC) in response to a litigation hold sent by a student’s attorney. OGC then scanned the records electronically to preserve and secure them. No one at the OGC has reviewed the records. Subsequently, national debate has centered on how access to these records could impact students seeking counseling on university campuses. In response to these concerns, I am affirming that University of Oregon students will have the same level of strong confidentiality that they have in private, off-campus therapy.

In order to emphasize the university’s commitment to the confidentiality of students’ records I am announcing the following actions:

  1. OGC has returned all records at issue so that they may be preserved and secured by the UCTC.
  2. I am instructing all UO employees that they must rigorously respect the confidentiality obligations of therapists in UO clinics and counseling centers.
  3. The university promises each student who comes to UO clinics and counseling centers that, consistent with law and ethics codes, in the future no records will be accessed by anyone not involved in their care, unless:
    • the student signs a written release,
    • a court orders release,
    • the therapist needs to coordinate treatment with others,
    • the therapist needs to prevent harm to the student or others,
    • the therapist needs to provide anonymous, aggregate information to the Director of Affirmative Action to compile statistics regarding sexual assaults.

I will form a committee made up of licensed therapists, faculty, General Counsel, and staff to propose new or clarified policies on how the confidentiality of medical and psychological records for any university departments that handle protected health information will be maintained and protected, and when records may be released. The committee will share a draft of these policies with the UO community in April 2015.

I am grateful for the advice and energy many members of our community have brought and continue to bring to this vital issue, and to our many members of the UCTC for their hard work, dedication, and care for our students.

I urge UO students to use our counseling and mental health services without fear that their counseling records will be disclosed to other parties or UO departments. In addition to the UCTC, I want students to know that other confidential support services are available in the following offices:

Students can call a 24-hour hotline at 541 346-SAFE to speak with a confidential counselor who can explain options and connect students with resources. They can also access such confidential services at the following website: safe.uoregon.edu.

I will resend this message to all students at the start of spring term.

Sincerely,

Frances Bronet

Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

GTFF rally for 5PM Monday at Johnson Hall draws politicians like … draws …

Update: Looks rainy, but there’s plenty of room inside the lobby, as the UO Coalition discovered last spring.

Coltrane could have settled this a month ago and saved our department heads a lot of time, and the GTFF a lot of megaphone batteries. But no:

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Thanksgiving Day Update: 62-year-old university president fails at ultimatum bargaining with 25-year-old students. His lawyers cash in again.

Continue reading

$360K a year provost sweetens offer to $14K a year grad students – or does she?

This just in. Has $360K a year (plus $775 a month for her car) Acting Provost Frances Bronet decided to ignore the advice of her $300 an hour HLGR lawyers Jeff Matthews and Sharon Rudnick (and Randy Geller and Dave Frohnmayer?) and sweeten the GTFF deal?

Apparently not. This “flex-time” is something virtually every department already gives as a matter of course:

Colleagues and students,

I’d like to update you on the latest status of negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. The University of Oregon has announced that it has expanded an already robust offer to include guaranteed flex time, officially recognized in the contract.

Under this new contract provision, it is guaranteed that all GTFs who need to take up to two weeks off due to a family or major medical situation will be able to flex their hours in order to do so. They also will have the ability to work with their departments and the Graduate School to explore whether more extensive schedule changes can be accommodated over the life of their contract. During the period that GTFs are exercising flex time, they will still receive full salaries, tuition and fee waivers, and health insurance coverage for their entire family.

Complete details are available here.

This new flex time proposal is an important complement to an already substantial package. This package also includes:

A nine percent pay increase, over two years, on minimum graduate student salaries. This is the largest negotiated pay increase since 2006;

Full tuition waivers;

Significantly reduced fees (a GTF pays only $61 per term); and

Full family health, vision, and dental coverage with the university paying 95 percent of the premium. This is by far the best healthcare package for graduate student teachers in Oregon and across comparable AAU institutions.

We respect the right of GTFs to conduct a legal strike and hope to reach a fair and equitable agreement quickly. For complete details of the current offer, please visit http://provost.uoregon.edu/gtff-negotiation.

This is a critical time for the University of Oregon. We recognize that there are thousands of undergraduate students who are looking to the university to finalize grades so they can graduate, secure financial aid, or solidify their registration for winter term. As this offer demonstrates, we do not want our ongoing negotiations to negatively impact anyone, especially our students. We are working on contingency plans designed to ensure that there is as little negative impact as possible.

Sincerely,

Frances Bronet

Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

11/16/2014 update: VPAA Doug Blandy blames deans, department heads, and faculty for secret strike plan to degrade academics Continue reading

Coltrane, Bronet meet with Senate Exec on Strategic Planning, policy review

Update: Good news for shared governance. Going on now, room 402 Alumni Center. I’ll do a little live-blogging.

Kyr introduces them by noting that this is the first time in 4 years we’ve had a President or a Provost willing to meet with the Senate Exec. Discussion is about how to get faculty/staff student input into developing goals, and a strategic plan for achieving them.

“Competitive Excellence” Plan docs are here.

Chuck Triplett then discusses how he’s going review and revise all the policies we inherited from his former employer, OUS. He’s proposing completely rewriting UO’s “policy on policies”, now to be run by a “Policy Advisory Committee”.

His new procedure contains no mention of the UO Senate. Zippo. Under the current policy on policies, the Senate has considerable power. I’m imagining there will be a few questions!

Q: Where are we out of compliance? Who can come after us? CT: Our academic accreditors, who insisted on the policy library. Hubin: We will *not* be subject to the planned accreditation review in 2017. It will be postponed due to the transition.

JB: Where is the Senate in your flow chart? Our Constitution is quite clear on the Senate’s role.

CT: We’ve identified the policies that involve academic matters as commonly understood.

JB: That’s nice, but the Senate Exec gets to decide, not you. I want the Senate Exec written into the process. RS: Yes.

CT: [Words come out, but I don’t hear a commitment to do this.]

Coltrane: Lots of policies, we need to do some triage. PAC will do much of it. Suggests Margie Paris as a faculty member. [?].

Bronet: PAC will be Senate led.

JB: Where’s the list of policies? CT: I’ll send it to you, but it’s just titles.

Coltrane: BTW, We just discovered we never adopted the UO PD complaint and grievance procedure. It will come your way soon.

Pretty good session. Coltrane leaves. Era of good feelings continues.

Next, Carol Stabile on Sexual Violence Task Force.

Recommendations:

1) Office of Gender Equity, headed by a VP. Report will explain what resources this would require. [Very expensive. Check the budget and staffing of the VP for Equity and Diversity to get some idea].

2) Senate Committee on Sexual Violence.

3) Support Campus Climate Survey – need that information. Need to assess what programs work, what don’t.

4) Wants to postpone Sorority/Fraternity Rush from fall to winter.

5) Improved implementation. End mandatory reporting. Audit Penny Daugherty’s AAEO office, there have been many complaints. Revise policy on sexual/romantic relationships between faculty and students. Develop proposals for mandatory courses. Funds for SWAT and women’s self defense. Track problems with sexual assaults involving Fraternity and Social Life. No data on which houses are on probation, etc. Let Ombuds office be confidential. Restart Committee on Alcohol and Drugs. More Title IX training for greek life, athletics. New booklet. MOU’s with SAS, Womenspace, EPD.

BH: Why nothing about athletics. This is were all the trouble started? CS: They wouldn’t talk to us. We had no cooperation from them. Locked down tight. BH: Seems like that makes it more important to have recommendations. RK: Yes. JF: Yes, very bad for UO reputation. JB: Make recommendations about athletics. Put them on the spot.

Long discussion about how to deal with the problem of the uncooperative athletics department and the PAGIA.

10/15/2014: Provost Bronet strips Mission Statement of 160over90 brander crap

New draft here. No, don’t click on that link. Trust me, it’s fine. Let’s all move on and hope Bronet posts some of Shelton’s secret budget model docs soon.

9/7/2014 update: Let’s throw “Go Ducks” on the end, and call this turkey done

The UO mission statement blog has now attracted a fair number of rather critical comments, including:

(1) As a UO retiree and graduate (Ph.D., M.A.), I was dismayed by this draft statement.  Is the UO still a public university? The only mention, under “Lead,” is to declare that it is a “preeminent public residential research university.” Similarly, under “Define,” we find it placed “in Oregon, the West, on the Pacific Rim, and the world.” Geographically correct (though the syntax needs work), but there is no indication in these packed-together phrases that the university aspires to serve Oregon, its population, or its students in any real sense. …  (5) I don’t agree with those who’ve said that the university’s declared mission is unimportant.  To me, at least, it matters that the university have recognizable aims, clearly stated.  The mission statement is a public document.  If I were on the faculty of the university, I’d wonder what this statement demanded of me, and whether I or my department might someday be publicly judged by it.

But probably all for naught, the Trustees are scheduled to vote this week, and they’ve put the original text in the docket.

Update: Administration’s mission of mass distraction accomplished. Faculty take knives to the mission statement in the official JH blog comments, here:

What does “sustainability”—a trendy word I realize we feel must go in there somewhere—mean as a component part of community? (Is it still the Edison Elementary School motto (with hand motions!): “Safe and respectful, including all learners”? Can we follow the lead of Anonymous and think about what we mean by this in a university?)How is “define” as aspect of “vision”? What does it mean to “seek definition”? What does the phrase mean: “seek definition through the recognition”? Can one do that? Does it clarify anything to say “seek definition through the recognition of the quality of…”? Someone needs to fix the punctuation to make the next part flow the way it seems to be intended: “We seek definition through the recognition of the aspiration, passions, and success of our students”? Our students apparently have a singular aspiration and plural passions.

Come on, you know you can’t resist – add your comments here. Or don’t, and instead read up on what really will matter, Brad Shelton’s budget model. Oh, wait, that’s a secret – website hasn’t been updated in a year, and apparently the Senate Budget Committee (report here), the deans, and the department heads are also in the dark. Here’s the projected data for the 2013-14 FY that ended in June. It will be very interesting to see how much more CAS gets taxed this year, and how much more the law school gets subsidized:

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Coltrane and Bronet on next steps

Dear Colleagues,In the past few weeks, the University of Oregon has successfully transitioned to a new executive leadership team. As interim president and acting provost, we are incredibly grateful to our stellar team of vice presidents, deans, vice provosts, the university, and the community for supporting this transition and helping maintain momentum on major initiatives and preparing for the new academic year.

 

The important work of the university continues, and we are pleased to offer an update on current university planning and searches.

 

 

 

Strategic Initiatives

The executive leadership team is working to further major initiatives started during the past year. These projects include:

  • Renewing our academic plan and setting strategic goals
  • Creating a facilities framework vision for campus
  • Supporting the faculty cluster hire initiative
  • Preparing the public phase of our fundraising campaign
  • Finalizing our new mission statement

In addition, the university will embark on a comprehensive policy review and adoption under a new board structure; work with the University Senate to enhance shared governance; continue implementing the faculty collective bargaining agreement; and continue reforms relating to curricular development, research oversight, student conduct, benchmarking, and transparency.

Searches

In the coming 2014-15 year, the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will conduct a national search for president. Additional details about the search process are expected to be shared during the September board meeting. Also this year, the university will hold a national search for general counsel and conduct an internal search for dean of the Graduate School.

To allow the new president to be involved in other important hires, the university will conduct searches for vice president for research and innovation, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and dean of the School of Journalism and Communication in the following year, 2015-16.

Challenge Creates Opportunity

Our ambitions for excellence are intact.  Through our collective efforts, we are building strength. This is a pivotal moment for the University of Oregon and we invite the entire campus community to join us in innovating to shape our future.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane                                            Frances Bronet
Interim President                                       Acting Provost

UO Org Chart has a place for Lorraine Davis through thick and thin. Why?

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UO’s Org Chart has gone through a lot of changes lately. New Presidents, Provosts, General Consuls, Deans and VP’s of this and that. The only constant seems to be Special Assistant to the Provost Lorraine Davis, who went on PERS in 2005, but is somehow still collecting a paycheck too. So, what’s her job? Someone should ask new Provost Frances Bronet, because Davis, Gottfredson, Coltrane, and Mullens sure won’t tell:

Full pdf here.

Interim President Coltrane appoints Frances Bronet as Interim Provost

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From: “President’s Office” <pres@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Message from Scott Coltrane
Date: August 8, 2014 at 2:16:42 PM PDT
Reply-To: pres@uoregon.edu

Colleagues,

The fact that I am greeting you as interim president is as surprising to me as it may be to you.

When I stepped into the provost role a year ago, I was looking forward to spending the next several years focusing on the university’s needs as chief academic officer. However, even though higher education is slow to embrace it sometimes, things change. The university’s needs have changed and we again find ourselves in the midst of a transition.

However, this transition is not exclusively related to who occupies the office of the president. It is driven by this institution’s need to define what it will be in the future. And in that way, many things remain the same as they were a week ago. Our goals for this academic year have not changed.

In the coming year, we will make great strides in our important work on strategic and academic planning, fundraising and the search for a permanent president, in partnership with the new board of trustees. My goal in this interim period is to lead the campus through these critical efforts, while adhering to our enduring commitments: access to educational opportunities and excellence in research and teaching.

We will do this by being a collaborative university, where the important perspectives of our many passionate faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and donors are a part of the conversation. Our need to come together as a university has never been greater as we work to find greater stability and define the University of Oregon for the future.

During this time of transition, I will offer what stability I can by continuing to approach the needs of this university as I have in the past, by listening and having the greatest respect for the work you do every day.

As I take on this interim role, I will need to rely on a strong senior vice president and provost. It is my sincere pleasure to announce that Frances Bronet has agreed to serve in this role on an interim basis.

In my years as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and during my time as provost, I have developed a tremendous respect for Frances. More importantly, however, Frances has earned the respect of the campus community, and I believe she will be a breath of fresh air in Johnson Hall.

We have much work to do in the coming months and I believe we are well-positioned for success, if we all pull together.

Thank you in advance for your support and hard work.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane
Interim President