General Counsel Kevin Reed exaggerates cost of providing public records

Reporter Jack Pitcher has a good report on the bad UO Public Records situation, in the Emerald here:

Multiple University of Oregon students were arrested this year, an assistant football coach was paid over $60,000 for less than a week of work and one visit to campus by an author cost UO donors over $40,000. Public records requests help clarify the facts for stories like these.

…. [UO General Counsel Kevin Reed] estimates that it costs “in the neighborhood of $300,000 a year” to operate the public records office. UO isn’t required to operate a public records office, but incurs this expense to make the process of collecting and distributing records more streamlined, according to Reed.

Actually, the public records office’s overall spending (YTD Activity) was only $207,000 for the last full fiscal year (2015-16, amounts below are net). UO’s entire annual spending on public records was less than half of the $465,000 *increase* in what General Counsel Reed spent on operating his own office, in comparison to the prior year:

 The GC’s spending on admin salaries alone increased by $310,000 from the previous year, to $1,027,000. On the plus side, they do have a spiffy new website with nice photos.

President Schill and GC Kevin Reed announce strong counseling confidentiality policy

I’m no law professor, but this policy seems to put to rest worries that UO will ever again access confidential student counseling records for questionable purposes.

It’s also notable in that the Oregon Bar ethics complaint against UO Interim General Counsel Doug Park and Associate General Counsel Sam Hill for obtaining the records, and the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiner’s proposed $5K fine against UO Counseling Director Shelly Kerr for releasing them, are still in various stages of appeals.

This new policy will not help these administrators’ cases – it will hurt them by making clear that what happened was wrong, and needed to be fixed. But it will help address the student concerns about UO’s institutional betrayal over sexual assaults that were identified by Jennifer Freyd. Which is more important.

UO’s new administration has done the right thing. A lot of people worked very hard to get us to this point, and I hope they are celebrating tonight. None of this would have come to light without the whistleblowing of CTS employees Jennifer Morlock and Karen Stokes, who have filed notice of a retaliation claim against UO.

The new policy is here, and here’s the announcement:

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Pres Schill hires Kevin Reed from UCLA as UO VP and General Counsel

Updated with the UCLA Chancellor’s message.

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Resume and cover letter here, Info on the searches here. President Schill’s announcement:

Colleagues,

It is a distinct pleasure to share with you today that Kevin Reed has accepted the role of vice president and general counsel. He will play a critical role as chief legal counsel and a senior advisor on institutional issues—a role expanded to better serve the university.

Kevin will come to us from the University of California Los Angeles, where he has served with distinction as vice chancellor for legal affairs and associate general counsel. Previously, he was general counsel for the Los Angeles Unified School District and a partner with Strumwasser and Woocher LLP in Santa Monica.

A Harvard Law graduate, Kevin has made a career out of dealing with the complex legal issues that are commonplace at highly regulated and scrutinized institutions. The University of Oregon will benefit from his incredible experience and knowledge when he arrives on Oct. 5.

While at UCLA, Kevin is credited with playing a pivotal role in establishing Westwood Technology Transfer, the entity created to oversee UCLA’s stewardship of intellectual property, and for supporting critical efforts in campus diversity, fostering creative ideas about outreach and financial support in admissions and hiring. He expanded the accessibility of his office and the units under his purview—the office of legal affairs, the office of ombuds services, and the Title IX office. He increased the willingness of faculty, students, and staff to seek support and services.

I would like to personally thank Doug Park, who has demonstrated great legal acumen while serving as interim general counsel. Doug’s legal insights, professionalism, and wisdom proved invaluable during his interim tenure. The entire staff of the general counsel’s office has done incredible work during this period and I am grateful. Doug will remain interim general counsel through Oct. 4.

I also offer sincere thanks to the search committee, chaired by Michael Moffitt, dean of the School of Law. This group worked tirelessly to provide us with an outstanding slate of candidates and I am extremely grateful for their excellent work on this key hire.

Please join me in welcoming Kevin Reed to the University of Oregon.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

And here’s a forward from a UCLA prof:

Office of the Chancellor

Dear Colleagues:

I’m writing with mixed emotions to share the news that Kevin Reed, vice chancellor of legal affairs, will leave UCLA on October 2 to serve as vice president and general counsel at the University of Oregon.

As our top legal adviser, Kevin has made many essential contributions to UCLA’s successes over the past seven years. I am sorry to see him go, but I take comfort in knowing that he will continue to support a public research university dedicated to equity, access and quality.

Since joining UCLA in 2008, Kevin has guided the campus through the increasingly complex maze of legal and regulatory issues inherent in managing a public university. It’s not hyperbole to say Kevin’s steady hand has touched all corners of our campus — from the police department and other units responsible for public safety to the health care enterprise, from human resources to research administration, and from athletics to numerous academic units. Whether advising on the development of new campus initiatives or managing litigation on high-profile cases, he anticipated challenges before they arose, responded adroitly to unexpected developments and confidently identified potential courses of action — invariably with fairness, integrity and accountability.

Kevin has the rare capacity to understand the wide range of concerns of those he advises, clearly communicate complicated legal concepts and collaborate on solutions, whether working with faculty and deans, vice chancellors and other administrators, outside counsel or students.

Of special note among his many accomplishments, Kevin served on boards that planned and governed the UCLA Community School, facilitating key relationships with our partners at LAUSD, where he was general counsel before arriving at UCLA. He played a pivotal role in establishing the legal framework to help protect faculty members from terrorist harassment by anti-animal research extremists. Kevin helped launch Westwood Technology Transfer, which was created to oversee UCLA’s stewardship of intellectual property. He supported critical efforts in campus diversity, fostering creative ideas about outreach and financial support in admissions and hiring. He expanded the accessibility of his office, increasing the willingness of faculty, students and staff to seek support from units under his purview — the offices of legal affairs and ombuds services, and the Title IX office.

We are fortunate to have benefited from Kevin’s service at UCLA. I have every confidence he will enjoy success in Oregon, where he will work with a board newly independent from the statewide university system and a new president, Michael Schill, who was dean of UCLA School of Law from 2004 to 2009. Please join me in wishing Kevin well.

I have asked Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh to form a committee to launch a search for a successor. An interim vice chancellor will be named soon.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block

Chancellor

VPGC Finalist #3: Kevin Reed, UCLA

Info on initial failed search here. New official search website here. Job ad here. Search committee consists of

  • Michael Moffitt (chair), Dean-School of Law
  • Missy Matella, Assistant General Counsel
  • David Schuman, Professor of Practice-Law School
  • Priscilla Southwell, Professor and Department Head-Political Science
  • Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research
  • Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University.

Finalist #3 for GCVP: Kevin S. Reed, UCLA. Schedule for Aug 5 visit here, resume and cover letter here:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 5.10.30 PM

This dude certainly seems to have the qualifications, and want the job. And you’ve gotta love this, from his letter:

“The legal issues that have brought unwanted attention to UO in the past several years are issues I have handled with success at UCLA, along with many other potentially mission-interrupting matters.”

More:

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As it happens, I’ve had occasion to deal with the UCLA Public Records office which Reed supervises. Back in May Diane Dietz compared UCLA’s unredacted, speedy, and free responses with UO’s fees, redactions, and geological delays, in the RG here:

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Sacbee reports UCLA paid Reed $276K last year, the UO job is $225K-$325K.

Finalist #2 for GCVP: Doug Park, UO. 

Park was also a finalist for the earlier cancelled search. That resume and cover letter are here. His Aug 4 schedule is here, new letter and CV here.

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An excerpt from his new letter, which is as interesting for what it omits as for what it includes:

As seen in my curriculum vitae, I have the following UO experiences: law student from 1990- 1993; adjunct law professor from 2003-2008; trial counsel for UO while at the Department of Justice; service on the UO’s JSMA leadership council as Board Development Chair and Executive Committee member; service on multiple UO committees; and service as in-house counsel for approximately eight years, including the last year as Interim General Counsel. My spouse [Beth Stormshak] is also a UO professor who has served UO in many capacities including teaching, researching, institute director, and associate vice president for research. These experiences enable me to see UO through the eyes of a student, adjunct faculty, tenure track faculty, administrator and lawyer, all of which provide me with a broad understanding of UO’s values, operations and aspirations.

Doug Park’s history with UO public records is legion, going back to the requests that led to the Mike Bellotti scandal and Richard Lariviere’s firing of his boss Melinda Grier, and the Oregon DOJ’s report of “deficient legal representation”:

Finalist #1 for GCVP: Kenya Mann Faulkner, U of Cincinnati. 

Aug 3 visit. Letter and CV here.

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UC paid her $295K last year, the UO job is $225K-$325K.

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Has President Schill found a replacement for Doug Park?

I don’t know.  Word is that there will be multiple finalists, visiting campus soon, application materials posted by the end of next week. Sounds good.

The job is no longer listed on the active administrative listing here, and the ad itself is now watermarked as an archive. But there’s been no announcement of finalists or public dissemination of application letters. The rudimentary General Counsel’s page still lists Doug Park as Interim GG.

Meanwhile there is an opening for an assistant for Public Records Officer Lisa Thornton, here. UO Employees only – definitely wouldn’t want to take a chance on getting someone with new ideas into that office. Speaking of which, they’ve got a pretty extensive backlog of unfilled requests.

Request Date Title Requester Status
07/23/2015 Student Fees Kimbrell, Jacob Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/22/2015 Contract Ahlen, John Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/20/2015 Athletic Contracts Rhoden, Jaleesa Records Provided
07/16/2015 Software Anderson, Angelina Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/16/2015 UOPD Boone, Mario No Responsive Records
07/16/2015 Compliance Correspondence Mattioli, Kami Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/15/2015 Directory Howe, Kevin Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/14/2015 Donations Jacoby, Kenny Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/14/2015 Contract Harbaugh, William Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/13/2015 Solar Energy Projects Wilker, Steven Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/13/2015 Reviews Paulson, Lauren Awaiting Payment
07/09/2015 Brand Contracts Axon, Rachel Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 President Records Harbaugh, William Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 University Expenditures Hill, Toni Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 Correspondence Martin, Nick Records Exempt From Disclosure
07/06/2015 Coach Contract Baumbach, Jim Records Provided
07/02/2015 NCAA Violations Greif, Andrew Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/02/2015 Purchase Contract Willis, Amy Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/02/2015 UO Foundation Harbaugh, William No Responsive Records
07/01/2015 Coach Contracts Hawthorne, Jonathan Records Provided
07/01/2015 Coach Contracts Shifflett, Shane Records Provided
07/01/2015 Student Directory Asari, David Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/30/2015 Coach Contracts Goldstick, Robert Records Provided
06/30/2015 BANNER Statements Harbaugh, Bill No Responsive Records
06/30/2015 Earthquake Certifications McGraw, Noah No Responsive Records
06/29/2015 RFP Tritsch, Geoffrey Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/25/2015 Football Contracts Berkowitz, Steve Records Provided
06/23/2015 UOPD Correspondence Harbaugh, Bill Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/22/2015 Mirror Epstein Johnson, Mark Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/19/2015 Compliance Emails Epstein, David Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/19/2015 BANNER Reports Harbaugh, Bill Records Provided
06/18/2015 Animals In Research Agundez, Juan Awaiting Payment
06/18/2015 Parking Revenue and Citation Totals Campuzano, Eder Records Provided
06/15/2015 Sightlines Study Dietz, Diane Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/15/2015 Employment Contracts & Salary Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
06/15/2015 2021 IAAF World Championship Wihtol, Christian Awaiting Payment
06/10/2015 Economics Dept. Salaries Costello, Brandon Records Provided
06/10/2015 RFP Responses – Course Scheduler Conner, Brett No Responsive Records
06/10/2015 Softball Coach Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
06/10/2015 Softball Coach Contract Hawthorne, Jonathan Records Provided

6/1/2015 update: New Pres Mike Schill takes UO’s General Counsel bull by the horns

Explanation for new VPGC position here, ad here, review begins June 26.

General Statement of Duties

The Vice President and General Counsel to the University (VPGC) is the chief legal officer for the University of Oregon, a senior advisor to the President of the University (President), and an officer of the university. The VPGC will be responsible for managing the university’s legal affairs, overseeing the office’s provision of legal services to the university (including the provision of any outside legal services retained on behalf of the university), and supervising the Office of the General Counsel, which includes other attorneys and support staff. In addition, the VPGC will oversee the University’s Office of Public Records and the University’s Records Management Services, including supervision of employees in those two functions. As a member of the president’s senior leadership team, the VPGC will work closely with the president and other executive officers on a wide array of matters of legal import to the institution. In addition, the VPGC will work closely with university units, programs (e.g. student government), and employees. …

While Lariviere had taken responsibility for public records away from Melinda Grier and Doug Park in the GC’s office because of conflict of interest concerns coming out of the Bellotti fiasco, in practice that independence was a sham. So perhaps it’s best to acknowledge that the conflict exists and set up procedures to deal with it.

5/27/2015 update:

Schill is going to totally reorganize the General Counsel’s office and restart the search for a “VP for Legal Affairs” to take charge of UO’s troubled legal matters. This is the best UO news I’ve heard in long time, and we all hope it will be the first in a series of efforts to reform Johnson Hall. It’s certainly a great start to an improved relationship with the faculty.

Meanwhile UO’s website seems to think Randy Geller is still in charge. (Link finally removed today, 11 months after Geller was resigned.)

5/218/2015: General Counsel search committee soliciting anonymous comments

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University tried to silence faculty blogger with sex harassment allegations

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has the story, here:

CHICAGO, March 20, 2015—A former high-level administrator at Chicago State University alleged in a statement filed yesterday in federal court that Chicago State President Wayne Watson pressured her to file a false sexual harassment complaint against Professor Philip Beverly, an outspoken faculty critic of Watson’s administration.

According to the declaration of former Chicago State Vice President for Enrollment Management LaShondra Peebles, Watson was determined to silence Beverly by shutting down the blog, CSU Faculty Voice, which Beverly had founded. Contributors routinely posted documents that supported their allegations of mismanagement by the administration.

The Chicago Tribune report is here:

The president of Chicago State University tried to pressure a high-level administrator to file false claims of sexual harassment against an outspoken professor to help the college try to silence him, according to court documents filed Thursday as part of an ongoing lawsuit. In a sworn statement, LaShondra Peebles, the college’s former interim vice president of enrollment and student affairs, said before she was fired that President Wayne Watson pushed her to accuse Phillip Beverly of sexual harassment, though Peebles said she was never harassed.

Beverly contributes to the blog CSU Faculty Voice, which has been critical of Watson and his policies. Beverly and professor Robert Bionaz have sued the university in federal court for allegedly attempting to shut down their blog.

From Ms Peebles’s statement to the court:

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This sort of thing would never happen at UO, right? Right?

Speaking of UO Interim GC Doug Park, there’s still no news on the search to replace him with a competent general counsel.

Applications were due Feb 5 for full consideration, campus interviews were supposed to take place in March, and a permanent replacement for Park is supposed to be in the job in April. We hope.

Park’s fingerprints are all over UO’s redoubled efforts to hide public records, and the decisions to sue the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape, and persuade Counseling Center Director Shelly Kerr to give her confidential counseling records to the GC, so they could scan them into the office’s digital archives. (Interim Provost Frances Bronet made Park give the originals back, it’s not clear what happened to the digital copies.)

I had to make a public records request and threaten a petition to the DA, just to find out who was on the search committee for a new GC. Eventually Coltrane posted this:

The committee includes:

Priscilla Southwell, Department head and Professor of Political Science
Meg Reeves, General Counsel at Oregon State University
Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation
David Schuman, Professor of Law
Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University

I’m guessing the real hiring committee “includes” a few more names, but whatever. What’s taking so long?

(Updated with DA’s response) Interim GC Doug Park says it’s harassment to cc him on a public records request

9/17/2014 update #2: Page down for the response from the District Attorney’s Office to the UO Public Records Office, and interim General Counsel Doug Park.

9/17/2014 update #1: Page down for a new letter to the District Attorney’s Office, with a cc to Mr. Park.

9/16/2014: Here’s my polite followup to a simple public records request for info on how much UO is paying outside lawyers and consultants. It’s 10 days past the normal due date:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 8:51 PM
To: Public Record Requests
Cc: Kelly Wolf; Douglas Park
Subject: PR request, legal and consulting reports

Dear Ms Thornton

It’s now been more than two weeks since I made this PR request: http://publicrecords.uoregon.edu/content/banner-reports

As you know, the Oregon DOJ thinks that one week is generally a reasonable time to fulfill a request. This is a simple one: These BANNER reports take only a few minutes to run. I would appreciate if you could provide them promptly.

Bill Harbaugh

I cced Interim General Counsel Doug Park because I assumed he’d want to know that UO was out of compliance with the Oregon DOJ’s guidance on public records law. But Park thinks it’s harassment for me to cc him:

On Tuesday Sep 16, 2014, at 9:34 AM, Douglas Park <dougpark@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Bill:

I politely asked you to stop contacting me (see attached emails), but you continue to do so. This is the latest example. You also cc’d me on your recent demand for Melissa Matella’s information on 8/20/14 (the newest attorney in our office). I am not part of and do not control the Public Records Office. And I have no idea what BANNER reports you are now requesting. Thus, continuing to cc me on your emails to the Public Records Office serves no purpose, except harassment.

As I have previously noted, if you have a legitimate legal need that is part of the course and scope of your UO employment that concerns the UO, you may run that through your Department Chair or Dean so that he or she can determine whether it is something the General Counsel’s Office needs to assist with. Again, for your convenience, I added Andrew and Bruce to this email string so that they know they may need to assist you.

Doug

I point out this is part of his job:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: Re: PR request, legal and consulting reports
Date: September 16, 2014 at 9:44:35 AM PDT
To: doug park
Cc: Lisa Thornton, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce McAllister

Hi Doug –

I assume that as interim GC you have a responsibility for ensuring UO follows the public records law. Your office frequently reviews that office’s procedures, and gets involved in particular requests, as we’ve read in the newspapers lately.

The AG’s interpretation of that law is that one week is a reasonable period of time to respond, and the PR Office is now well past that period. This should be matter of professional interest to you, and I will continue ccing you in situations like this.

I am sorry that you view this as harassment. I’ve cced Senate President Kyr, UAUO President Dreiling, and UO Ombudsman Bruce McAllister on this reply.

Bill Harbaugh

Mr. Park expands on his claims:

From: Douglas Park
Subject: RE: PR request, legal and consulting reports
Date: September 16, 2014 at 10:01:52 AM PDT
To: Bill Harbaugh
Cc: Lisa Thornton, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce McAllister

Dear Bill:

If the Public Records Office has a legal question, that Office is always welcome to contact the General Counsel’s Office for legal advice. It is unnecessary for you to contact me about such matters or otherwise cc me on your requests to that office, regardless of whether you are the requestor. You are merely using the public records laws as a tool for harassment.

Accordingly, I ask again that you follow the established procedures of filing your requests with the office that was created for that purpose: the Public Records Office. No one else in the world cc’s me on their public records requests: only you. Your conduct on this matter stands-outs as strikingly unique. It is so unique and unusual, concluding that it is intended to harass (because it serves no other purpose and no one else does it) is a logical conclusion.

Please do not contact me again. Contact from you has become unwanted and harassing.

Doug

My petition to Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow for the documents, with a cc to Park:

from: Bill Harbaugh
to: PERLOW Patty
cc: Douglas Park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Kron Michael C <michael.c.kron@doj.state.or.us>, Public Record Requests, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce MacAllister,

date: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM
subject: public records petition, UO legal and consulting payment reports

Dear Deputy District Attorney Perlow:

On July 27 I made a public records request to the University of Oregon for

a) BANNER statements showing payments for legal services, from 5/31/2014 to the present.

b) BANNER statements showing payments for consulting services, from 1/1/2013 to the present

These are simple basic accounting statements showing the payee, date and amount of payments. To my knowledge there is nothing confidential about them, and UO has regularly provided them in the past without charge. Anyone with access to UO’s accounting system can run them in a few minutes.

Nearly 3 weeks have now passed, and the UO public records office has not responded to my request, or to the followup below.

Therefore I petition your office to order UO to produce these documents without delay and without charge.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Bill Harbaugh

And a prompt response to UO and Mr. Park, from the Lane County District Attorney’s Office:

From: PERLOW Patty
Subject: FW: public records petition, UO legal and consulting payment reports
Date: September 17, 2014 at 2:01:25 PM PDT
To: ‘Office of Public Records’ <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, ‘Douglas Park’ <dougpark@uoregon.edu>
Cc: ‘Bill Harbaugh’

Below is a public records appeal from Bill Harbaugh. Please let me know whether the University intends to provide the requested records and, if yes, a timeline for production.

Thank you,
Patty Perlow

As background, under Park’s predecessor, Randy Geller, the GC’s office hid the legal billings from public records requests, and even from the required reporting to the State Transparency Office. Park has to decide whether to try that again this year. So perhaps it’s not surprising he’s a little sensitive on this issue. Full Jan 2013 post here. An excerpt:

1/29/2013: Oregon has a law on government transparency: SB 2500, passed in 2009. State agencies are required to post a bunch of stuff, including expenditures. The webpage is here. But UO has stopped reporting what they spend on legal services. They don’t even admit that they stopped reporting – it now just goes from Laundry to Library, as if there’s nothing missing. Orwell would have loved it:

UO for 2012-13 FY (released fall 2013)

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Park wants another helper lawyer, and $ to show Geller docs

9/12/2014 update:

Job ad here: http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4873. Still no update to the GC’s webpage about who is currently working there. Meanwhile Doug Park wants $79.60 for the docs explaining Geller’s sudden resignation:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “any emails or other public records sent or received by Randy Geller between March 9th and May 6th, related to his April 21 decision to retire, as announced by ‘Around the O'” 06/17/2014, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $79.60. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

Request for a public interest fee waiver denied. Seriously? What does it take? A story on KATU television?

9/4/2014: Gottfredson gave Doug Park a $68K raise and Geller’s family bowl game junkets to serve as acting GC for a year

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Gottfredson posts Geller replacement Doug Park’s resume

I’ve been trying to get a copy of the resume’s and job application letters for UO’s lawyers in the General Counsel’s office for the past 8 weeks or so. The qualifications of UO’s attorneys are a matter of obvious public interest given UO’s many current legal problems, the new legal service policy which requires UO employees to use these lawyers if they are accused of work-related wrongdoing, and the astonishing increase in UO’s use of outside attorneys, who are managed by the GC’s office. I think UO’s attorneys are Douglas Park, Sam (Samantha) Hill, and John F. Salmon III but it’s hard to be sure – the GC’s website says nothing.

Doug Park has fought back hard, accusing me of harassment (sexual harassment, if I understand his innuendoes correctly) for asking to see these public records. I have a petition filed with the Lane County DA to get the documents and should have a response later this week. Today President Gottfredson announced that Park will be the interim GC. The announcement below includes the usual fluff, and, surprisingly, a link to his resume.

Meanwhile there’s no news as to what Randy Geller will do next. Geller’s unexpected “retirement” was announced in the midst of Gottfredson’s efforts to keep a lid on the basketball rape allegations. Perhaps he will get some lucrative consulting work from UO, as his former boss and “General Counsel Emerita” Melinda Grier has apparently done, after being fired by Lariviere for “deficient legal representation”.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Douglas Park has agreed to serve as Interim General Counsel for the University of Oregon. Since coming to the General Counsel’s Office in 2007, Mr. Park has provided invaluable guidance and advice to every college at the UO, and has assisted with multiple matters ranging from copyright and trademark issues, to library and museum acquisitions, to managing litigation in UO’s most high profile cases. He played an instrumental role in the formation and transition of our new Board of Trustees, and is known for his expertise in a broad range of higher education issues including government ethics, sponsored research, tenure and promotion, student rights and campus safety. Mr. Park has also served the National Association of College and University Attorneys as a planning committee member, and been a panelist or modsterator for multiple UO Law School and NACUA presentations. He currently serves on the Leadership Council for the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, where he is the Chair of the Board Development Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

Mr. Park earned a BA in English literature from the University of Washington in 1988, and a law degree from the UO in 1993. Before joining the General Counsel’s Office, he worked for nine years at the Oregon Department of Justice as an Assistant Attorney General, and then Senior Assistant Attorney General. While at the DOJ, Mr. Park was part of the U.S. Supreme Court team that successfully litigated Baldwin v. Reese. He also received the Outstanding Achievement Award, DOJ’s highest professional honor, for successfully defending the constitutionality of Oregon’s dangerous offender sentencing statute, and successfully defending the constitutionality of the appellate procedure outlined in State v. Balfour. Mr. Park has taught at the UO’s Law School as an adjunct professor, worked as a Washington State public defender, worked in the private sector, and interned at the Eugene Legal Aid. Mr. Park has also co-authored chapters published in the Oregon State Bar Criminal Law Manual, and an article published by the Willamette Law Review. See his full resume here.

Mr. Park begins his new appointment on July 1. Please join me in welcoming Doug to his new position.

Regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

OUS plans for legal services transition

8/17/2011: They’ve posted the planning document here. SB 242 gives the Board authority to hire lawyers – not UO. Will Randy Geller have to reapply for his job? We can only hope. This time maybe they’ll check that resume a bit more closely and ask a few questions about compliance with public records law. Not that OUS General Counsel Ryan Hagemann is much better on that.

UO will be allowed to expand it’s legal department to 4, they’be been at 2 since Melinda Grier was fired – Geller hasn’t been able to find an assistant willing to take the job. And heads up Dave – OUS will be able to hire outside counsel at your $550 rate. Time to make it rain for Harrang, Long, et al.

UO still needs a General Counsel

8/1/2010: The job ad says apply by 7/8 for full consideration, but there’s still no sign that UO has managed to find a taker for the General Counsel position. It’s now more than three months since Melinda Grier was fired. Meanwhile Doug Park is getting a $1400 stipend tacked onto his $10,000 monthly salary, for doing her job.

Grier is still on the payroll at $15,392 a month, with no responsibilities other than prepare for her fall class on Employment Discrimination. Of course, now her salary is being charged to the academic side, rather than Central Administration. (Actually, not. Central is still paying it.) So far, 3 students:

I assume she’ll start with the Joe Wade / John Moseley case that led to the creation of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity – but who knows, maybe that’s still a sore subject for her? Maybe she’ll have a section on AA law, and explain the potential consequences of UO’s Affirmative Action plan being, once again, out of date?

Customer friendly General Counsel’s office

7/14/2010: We won’t know if this is just cosmetic until the new GC gets hired, and decides who to fire. But their new website is a good effort. I like the FAQ:

What must I do before engaging in private consulting? Review University Policy Statement 09.00.05. Most private consulting requires prior University approval. Approval authorizes important work that might otherwise violate Oregon’s ethics statutes.

What are the chances Frohnmayer got approval before supplementing his $245K UO sinecure with his second job at Umpqua Bank, and his third at Harrang, Long, etc.?

UO needs a lawyer

6/19/2010: UO has now posted a job announcement for the General Counsel job:

… at least fifteen years of law practice experience ….  To ensure full consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references by July 8, 2010. … The committee will strongly prefer candidates who have substantial experience handling the legal work of a large organization, especially of a research-oriented university. The committee also will prefer candidates who are familiar with public law.

5/16/2010: The April 21 Jeff Manning story on the Melinda Grier firing said

Lariviere initially hoped to name Grier’s successor Friday. But it appears that won’t happen. … Kent Robinson, long-time federal prosecutor in Portland, has emerged as one candidate to replace Grier.

Nearly a month has passed, and there is still no post on the UO or the DOJ job websites for the UO General Counsel / Special Assistant AG position. Meanwhile Doug Park appears to be running things. This is not good, UO needs an outsider with a new perspective on the situation, and we need one quickly.

Athletic Director, VP for Diversity, and General Counsel searches:

6/4/2010: Margie Paris hasn’t posted an ad for the General Counsel job yet – 6 weeks after Melinda was fired. And Lariviere is still thinking about who should be on the search committee for the Martinez replacement. But Robin Holmes is making progress on the AD hire:

Campus Colleagues:

What’s important to you in the next University of Oregon Director of Intercollegiate Athletics? On behalf of the search committee, you are invited to come share your thoughts at an open forum, Wednesday, June 9, from 2-3:30 pm, in the Harrington Room of the Jaqua Center. Members of the search committee will be in attendance to gather your input.

For more information on the position, please view the posting on the UO jobs page: http://hr.uoregon.edu/jobs/unclassified.php?id=3017

Sincerely,

Robin H. Holmes, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Search Chair