Vandals attack Treetops Mansion, official residence of Chancellor Pernsteiner

11/27/2011: Or maybe the headline should read:

“Chancellor Pernsteiner loots Oregon student’s budgets to pay for his mansions, maids and croissants”

Sam Stites of the ODE has the scoop on the former interpretation, with some Aaron Marineau photos of the perpetrators fleeing the well manicured, spacious grounds of Treetops, OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner’s state owned and maintained 9,200 sq ft mansion. I swear the guy on the left is Frank Stahl. UO Matters deplores all senseless acts of vandalism, and this one is particularly senseless, since Pernsteiner’s money and the Treetops costs all come from student tuition and taxes. Guess who will pay. Here are a few other interesting Pernsteiner facts, in case you need something truly scandalous and corrupt to deplore:

And his contract will be automatically renewed unless the OUS board acts by 12/31/2011.

    Public Meetings complaint to the Government Ethics Commission

    11/27/2011: The Oregon GEC is charged with enforcing Oregon law regarding public meetings. We believe the OUS decision to fire President Lariviere in secret without public notice of their meeting and to then call a sham meeting to rubber-stamp their secret decision violates that law. We have emailed have the complaint below to GEC Director Bersin and Chancellor Pernsteiner and the OUS Board. It is signed by more than 75 UO faculty so far. To make your participation official you must download, sign the last page, and mail this convenient 13 page pdf of the complaint to the GEC. Do this by Monday AM. Complete instructions are on page 1.  Email me at uomatters@gmail.com if you want your name added to the list below.

    Anyone can download and file the complaint. For complete news on Lariviere firing go here. The RG has reposted our complaint here and has a comprehensive story on it by Jeff Wright, here. The Oregonian has this:

    State board President Matt Donegan said Saturday he is aware of the complaint. “I have no reaction other than to say we have made every step in conjunction with legal council to ensure that all appropriate processes have been followed,” he said.

    11/26/2011: 

    Dear Oregon Government Ethics Commission Director Bersin, and GEC Members:

    This is a request that you investigate a potential violation by the Oregon University System Board and OUS officials of the Oregon Revised Statutes regarding public meetings and executive sessions. Public officials that may have been involved in this potential violation include OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner, OUS Board Chair Matt Donegan, and the other OUS Board members listed at the bottom of this complaint.

    The circumstances involve the apparent decision by the OUS Board not to extend UO President Richard Lariviere’s employment contract past June 2012, and to ask for his resignation. This decision has been widely reported in the press as a done deal, initially by Nigel Jaquiss of the Willamette Weekly at http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-27915-breaking_lariviere_out_as_u_of_o_president.html Mr. Jaquiss reported:

    WW has learned that Oregon University System board members met with University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere on Monday, telling him that when his contract expires in June, it will not be renewed.


    University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere this morning said he was disappointed the State Board of Higher Education has asked him to leave a job that he considers a good fit by the end of the school year. “It comes down to a disagreement about the future of the University of Oregon,” he said. “It is a disappointment.” Matthew Donegan, board president, told Lariviere Monday that his one-year contract would not be renewed.

    The Register Guard report by Greg Bolt at http://projects.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27222208-41/board-lariviere-university-state-decision.html.cspis describes a process of polling of board members by Chair Matt Donegan:

    Lariviere was told of the decision in a meeting Monday with Matt Donegan, the board president, and board member Allyn Ford.
    Donegan stressed Wednesday that no final action has been taken. That is expected to come in a special meeting that has been called for Monday in Portland, although no notice of a meeting was posted on the board’s website Wednesday. The state board issued a press release Wednesday, saying it will vote in a public meeting “regarding the status of the employment agreement of Dr. Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon.”
    But Donegan said he had polled the board before speaking to Lariviere and also consulted with Gov. John Kitzhaber.
    This polling process is of particular concern, given the recent ruling by Coos County Circuit Judge Michael Gillespie on a case regarding Lane County commissioners who had used emails and other methods to agree on decisions privately, before public meetings. This situation, and the ruling which involved substantial legal costs for all parties, is described in this RG story by Karen McCowan: http://special.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/updates/25788932-55/commissioners-county-case-gillespie-judge.csp

    OUS Board Chair Donegan explicitly states his regret that the public learned of the board’s secret decision, in his most recent interview with Oregonian reporter Helen Jung, posted 11/26/2011 at http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2011/11/state_board_of_higher_educatio_1.html

    He said the decision has not been voted on, but he has talked individually or with a couple board members as a contractual Dec. 31 deadline to notify Lariviere approaches. Those discussions made clear there was “no support” to continue his contract. He also consulted the governor, he said.

    Donegan said he decided to talk with Lariviere on Monday. He proposed spending the week to work with him on a separation both could be happy with, Donegan said, before going to the board for a formal vote. He also encouraged him to speak with Gov. John Kitzhaber.

    “Unfortunately, things became publicly known almost immediately, and so that ended the opportunity to have a quiet process,” he said.


    A decision of this importance to the state is supposed to involve public input – not be made as part of a “quiet process” between insiders.

    A search of the OUS Board’s public notices and agendas at http://ous.edu/state_board/meeting/notices and http://ous.edu/state_board/meeting/dockets shows no sign of a public announcement of an executive session of the board on the topic of President Lariviere’s contract renewal before the Monday 11/21/2011 meeting between President Lariviere and Mr. Donegan. Public notice for a decision of this sort is clearly required by ORS, as explained in the Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual (available online at http://www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/manual/public_meetings.shtml) which notes:

    ORS 192.620 establishes Oregon’s policy of open decision-making by governing bodies:
    The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made. It is the intent of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly.

    This open decision-making policy is given effect by the law’s substantive provisions. These provisions are intended to ensure, among other things, that the meetings of governing bodies, at which decisions about the public’s business are made or discussed, are open to the public, ORS 192.630(1), (2); that the public has notice of the time and place of meetings, ORS 192.640; and that the meetings are accessible to persons wishing to attend, ORS 192.630(4), (5).

    The manual then goes on to explain:

    The Public Meetings Law requires that public notice be given of the time and place of meetings. This requirement applies to regular, special and emergency meetings as those terms are used in ORS 192.640. The public notice requirements apply to any “meeting” of a “governing body” subject to the law, including committees, subcommittees and advisory groups. See discussion above of Governing Bodies and of Meetings. A governing body’s notice must be reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the persons and the media that have stated in writing that they wish to be notified of every meeting.[26]

    If a meeting will consist only of an executive session, notice still must be given to the members of the governing body, to the general public and to news media that have requested notice. The notice also must state the specific legal provision authorizing the executive session. ORS 192.640(2).

    Notices for meetings that will include both an executive session and a nonexecutive session should give notice of both and state the statutory authority for the executive session.

    The Attorney General’s manual (and ORS) then directs citizens to your commission for redress:

    A citizen who believes that a governing body has violated the provisions permitting an executive session may file a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

    After the news stories on the Board’s decision regarding non-renewal of President Lariviere’s story broke, the OUS did finally issue a notice of meeting of sorts, on Wed 11/23/2011, at http://ous.edu/news/112311. This notice says that President Lariviere’s employment status will be discussed at a public meeting from 3PM-5PM Monday 11/28/2011, but it reads as if the news stories above are correct, and the decision has been made, that the decision will be rubber-stamped, and the question for the board now is just a search for a replacement:

    “The Board’s priority is an effective transition in leadership for the benefit of the University of Oregon and the Oregon University System.”

    Then, sometime late Friday (6:16 PM, by the time stamp on the pdf ) on 11/25/2011 the board posted a new announcement of this meeting, on the regular meeting agenda webpage. The file is at http://www.ous.edu/sites/default/files/state_board/meeting/letters/call111128-spec.pdf . This announcement includes an even vaguer description of the meeting agenda than the initial one. The announcement states there will be an executive session from 2PM-3PM on an undisclosed topic involving “a record otherwise exempt from public disclosure” followed by a public meeting “to address employment of the University of Oregon president” from 3PM-5PM.

    This notice, apparently posted the evening of the Friday after Thanksgiving, on a UO holiday, less than 5 working hours before the meeting, seems deficient in terms of the relevant ORS requiring reasonable notice in terms of time, and a public agenda “reasonably calculated to give actual notice to interested persons” – especially given the many news stories on this issue, the meeting with President Lariviere a week prior, and the apparent polling of OUS Board members about this meeting that preceded all this. What’s the sudden rush? Why not be more explicit about the agenda?

    The leadership of the University of Oregon is of vital interest to the UO community and the state at large. As the Oregon Attorney General says: 

    “The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made.” 

    This principle is fundamental to legitimate representative government. The most famous quote is by James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights. Ironically, it is from an 1822 letter commending the new state of Kentucky for funding public education – at the time a rare thing: (http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html):


    A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.

    The OUS Board appears to have broken that principle, and the Oregon law designed to implement it, by arriving at a decision of large public importance behind closed doors and or by using private email communications. There was no means for the public to acquire information, no public input into the process, and not even any public notice before the decision regarding President Lariviere’s contract was apparently made and announced. The OUS arrangements for the rushed executive and public meetings on Monday 11/28 appear to be prologues to a farce set up to approve a decision that they have already made in private.

    Therefore we ask you to use your authority under ORS and investigate this situation. 

    As a first step we ask you to request all records, including emails (using OUS or non-OUS addresses) phone logs, and notes involving Chancellor Pernsteiner, OUS General Counsel Ryan Hagemann, OUS Board Chair Donegan, and other OUS officials and board members involving the decision not to renew President Lariviere’s contract, in order to obtain sufficient documentation to determine if the ORS rules on executive sessions have been broken by the OUS Board and OUS officials.


    The Oregon Government Ethics Commission’s official complaint form at http://www.oregon.gov/OGEC/docs/Forms/Fillable_Complaint_Form_8-11.pdf explains that complainants must sign the form and provide contact information, affirming this statement:

    I understand that upon receipt of this complaint, the public official subject to this complaint will be notified of the nature of the complaint, my identity and will be provided copies of this complaint and any enclosures.

    We the undersigned, will provide a copy of this form with the information above, and with our signatures and contact information, by pdf and mail to your office by Friday, 12/2/2011.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Ablow, Associate Professor of Psychology
    Holly Arrow, Associate Professor of Psychology
    Dare Baldwin, Professor of Psychology
    Neil Bania, Associate Professor of Planning, Public Policy and Management
    Dietrich Belitz, Professor of Physics 
    Louise Bishop, Associate Professor of Literature, Clark Honors College
    Doug Blandy, Professor of Arts and Administration, AAA Assoc Dean for Ac Affairs
    Bruce Blonigen, Knight Professor and Head, Economics
    Marcin Bownik, Associate Professor of Mathematics
    Greg Bothun, Professor of Physics
    Lowell Bowditch, Professor and Head, Department of Classics
    Elisabeth Chan, Associate Professor and Department Head, Landscape Architecture
    Anita Chari, Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Jennifer Craig, Associate Professor of Dance
    Paul Dassonville, Professor of Psychology
    Victoria J. DeRose, Professor of Chemistry
    John B Fenn III, Assistant Professor, Arts and Administration
    Jennifer Freyd, Professor of Psychology
    Maradel Gale, Professor Emerita of Planning, Public Policy and Management
    Mark Gillem, Associate Professor of Architecture
    Sangita Gopal, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies
    Jo Anna Gray, Professor of Economics
    Marina Guenza, Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Ben Hansen, Assistant Professor of Economics
    William Harbaugh, Professor of Economics
    James Harper, Associate Professor of History
    Mary Jaeger, Professor of Classics 
    Lamia Karim, Associate Professor of Anthropology
    Lauren Kessler, Professor of Journalism and Communication
    Steve Kevan, Professor and Head of Physics
    Peter Keyes, Associate Professor of Architecture and past UO Senate President
    Harinder Khalsa, Senior Instructor of Italian
    Peter Laufer, James Wallace Chair in Journalism, School of Journalism and Communication
    Laura Leete, Associate Professor, Planning, Public Policy and Management
    Katharina Loew, Assistant Professor of German and Scandinavian
    Joe Lowndes, Associate Professor of Political Science
    Ulrich Mayr, Professor of Psychology
    Ian F McNeely, Associate Professor of History 
    Brian McWhorter, Associate Professor of Music
    Jeffrey Measelle, Associate Professor, Psychology
    Robert Z. Melnick, Professor and former Dean of Architecture and Allied Arts
    Deborah Morrison, Chambers Distinguished Professor, Journalism and Communication
    Lou Moses, Professor and Head, Psychology
    Mikhail Myagkov, Associate Professor of Political Science
    Julianne H. Newton, Professor of Journalism and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs
    Jon Palfreman, KEZI Distinguished Professor of Broadcast Journalism
    Jeremy Piger, Associate Professor of Economics
    Rita J Radostitz, OA, Institutional Equity and Diversity and Instructor, PPM
    Geraldine Richmond, Professor of Chemistry
    Tina Rinaldi, OA, Arts & Administration
    John Rowell, Associate Professor of Architecture
    Gordon Sayre, Professor of English and past UO Senate President
    Benjamin Saunders, Associate Professor of English
    Kim Sheehan, Professor of Journalism and Communication
    Carol Silverman, Professor and Head, Department of Anthropology
    Dev Sinha, Associate Professor of Mathematics
    Christopher Sinclair, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    Nicholas Sly, Assistant Professor of Economics
    Priscilla Southwell, Professor and Head of Political Science
    Sanjay Srivastava, Associate Professor of Psychology
    Frank Stahl, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology
    H. Leslie Steeves, Professor of Journalism & Communication
    Joe Stone, Miner Chair Professor of Economics, former CAS Dean
    Andrew Verner, Assistant Dean, College of Business
    Ying Tan, Associate Professor of Art
    Marjorie Taylor, Professor of Psychology
    Ed Teague, Head, Architecture & Allied Arts Library
    Daniel Tichenor, Philip Knight Professor of Political Science
    William C. Terry, Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Roxi Thoren, Associate Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
    Nathan Tublitz, Professor of Biology and past UO Senate President
    Kartz Ucci, Associate Professor of Art
    Laura Vandenburgh, Associate Professor and Head, Art
    Glen Waddell, Associate Professor of Economics
    Peter A. Walker, Professor and Department Head, Geography Department 
    Dean Walton, Science Librarian
    Tom Wheeler, Professor of Journalism and Communication
    Lisa Wolverton, Associate Professor of History
    Kyu Ho Youm, Jonathan Marshall First Amendment Chair of Journalism and Communication


    OUS Officials and Board Members potentially involved in this situation:

    George Pernsteiner
    OUS Chancellor
    Chancellor’s Office
    1431 Johnson Lane
    Eugene OR 97403-0175
    (541)346-5703

    Ryan Hagemann
    Legal Counsel
    Office of Legal Counsel
    1431 Johnson Lane
    Eugene OR 97403-0175
    (541) 346-5716
    ryan_hagemann@ous.edu

    Matthew (Matt) W. Donegan,
    Board President
    c/o Forest Capital Partners, LLC
    111 SW 5th Avenue, Ste 3850
    Portland OR 97204
    503.200.2730 (main office number)

    Jill W. Eiland, Board Vice
    President
    c/o Intel Corporation
    5200 NE Elam Young Parkway
    Hillsboro OR 97124
    503.264.5667

    Lynda M. Ciuffetti
    2082 Cordley Hall, OSU
    Corvallis OR 97331
    541.737.2188

    Allyn Ford
    c/o Roseburg Forest Products
    PO Box 1088
    Roseburg OR 97470
    541.679.3311

    James (Jim) L. Francesconi
    c/o Haglund Kelley, LLP
    200 SW Market, Ste 1777
    Portland OR 97201
    503.225.0777

    Paul Kelly, Jr
    c/o Chancellor’s Office, PSU
    PO Box 751
    Portland OR 97207-0751
    503.702.8268

    Dr. Rosemary Powers
    116 Ackerman Hall, EOU
    One University Blvd
    La Grande OR 97850
    541.962.3819

    Dr. Preston Pulliams
    President, Portland Community
    College
    PO Box 19000
    Portland OR 97280-0990
    503.977.4365

    Kirk E. Schueler
    Chief Administrative Officer
    St. Charles Health System
    2500 NE Neff Road
    Bend OR 97701
    541.382.1662
    Or 541-350-3730

    David (Dave) V. Yaden
    275 North Shore Rd
    Lake Oswego OR 97034
    503.863.4924

    Kitzhaber elected Oregon CEO: 11/26-11/28 news roundup

    11/26/2011: Public meetings complaint on Lariviere firing here.

    In the Oregonian Kitzhaber finally explains why he fired Lariviere: Kitzhaber is the CEO, and the rest of us are his employees:

    In my opinion, should the Board of Higher Education decide to terminate Dr. Lariviere’s contract on this basis, it would be fully justified from an executive management standpoint. Any private sector CEO, faced with a division manager who was totally dedicated to his or her specific department but willfully and repeatedly undermined the needs and goals of the overall company would, I expect, fire the manager – and probably after the first instance of such behavior; not the second.

    Funny, I thought Oregon was a democracy, and we had elected Kitzhaber governor of it – with a few checks and balances like the public meetings law. If the state is going to be run by a CEO, I would have voted for Phil Knight – a man who knows how to make things and create jobs in Oregon.

    In his Sunday column Steve Duin of the Oregonian rips into Governor Kitzhaber for autocratic decisions and mentions this ethics complaint. Jeff Wright of the RG posts notice of a story coming tomorrow on it.

    Autzen Hat Event, Senate Web site, Deeper hole, Caravan to Portland

    Ali Bongo Ondimba adds his voice to the list of Lariviere supporters. A good reminder that this fight should be about process, faculty governance, and transparency – not “We Love Our President”.

    Steve Duin of the Oregonian rips into Kitzhaber: Death penalty for UO faculty and students, but not for murderers.

    Word down at the faculty club is that there’s a football game tomorrow and some folks – maybe lots of folks – are going to demonstrate at Autzen in support of President Lariviere. See http://weloveourpres.blogspot.com/ for details.

    Also check the UO Senate website at http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/update-uo-presidential-situation for info on the UO Senate’s efforts to resist Chancellor Pernsteiner’s attempts to usurp the faculty’s rights and responsibilities. Irene Aleshire has more in the RG. 

    Meanwhile OUS Board chair Matt Donegan digs himself a deeper hole in this Helen Jung story in the Oregonian. No way this was firing was consistent with the public meetings law.

    We’ll post more over the weekend on the OUS Portland meeting, scheduled 3-5 PM Monday. OSBHE Boardroom, PSU Academic and Student Recreation Center, Suite 515, Portland. I have heard from many, many UO faculty who plan to attend. Word is that Phil Knight and Howard Slusher will buy the first round after the meeting closes. In this secret video provided by a helpful OUS staffer, Pernsteiner and Donegan reconsider their decision to try and limit attendance by choosing a small room:

    Will the OUS Board renew his contract?

    11/25/2011: No, I don’t mean President Lariviere’s contract. I mean Chancellor Pernsteiner’s.

    Governor Kitzhaber can’t be too happy with Pernsteiner, after he sold him a simple plan to get rid of a man he described as troublemaker with no faculty support, which then blew up in Kitzhaber’s face. Time is running out for Dr. Pernsteiner. Read his contracts – the 2010 one starts on page 15:

    By December 31, eh? Now that’s going to be one fun OUS Board meeting. Read the whole contract – his giveaway perks are astounding. I wonder what he’ll get this time – new hot tub? Say, has OUS GC Ryan Hagemann posted public notice yet? Just curious.

    The sham OUS meeting to ratify the closed door decision about Lariviere starts with a private executive session at 2PM Monday. Agenda is finally posted, here. The public part starts at 3pm in PSU’s Academic & Student Recreation Center, Suite 515 (1800 SW 6th Avenue, Portland). Be there.

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    11/25/2011: Did the OUS Board break the public meetings law by using a secret poll of its members to decide to fire Lariviere? Jack Bogdanski repeats the question on his popular Portland blog. No one can figure out how Dr. George Pernsteiner convinced Matt Donegan and the rest of the board to go along with his scheme to kick Lariviere off campus and take over UO. But as a US Senator and former UO student once said, “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell No! And it ain’t over now. This is over when *we* say it’s over.” The road trip to Portland for Monday’s OUS Board meeting will go down in history.

    Lariviere Links

    11/25/2011, updated obsessively:

    Basic info:

    The commissioners “… willfully violated Oregon’s public meetings law in 2009 and are personally liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses.” The judge wrote: “It was orchestrated down to the timing and manner of the vote so as to avoid any public discussion.”

    Sound familiar? Given that “personally liable” part, I’m wondering what lawyer advised OUS board chair Matt Donegan that he could privately poll his board and have them make a secret decision to fire Lariviere. OUS Counsel Ryan Hagemann? Dave Frohnmayer? Melinda Grier? Both the latter were part of recent proposals to provide legal advice to OUS.

      Nobody is happy about Donegan and Pernsteiner’s power grab – especially not Ms Gerlingher:

      The faculty, the union, the jocks, and Phil Knight all agree? Too bad, it’s a done deal – Pernsteiner’s OUS press release is all about the search process for the next UO President. There is no way anyone competent is going to take this job with this history. The last search took a year and there was one credible candidate after the airport interviews: Richard Lariviere. But the fix is in. Who will Kitzhaber stick us with, and why? Follow the money:

      • Dave Frohnmayer. Kitzhaber owes Frohnmayer, who filed the Bar complaint against Sean Riddell, the state prosecutor who went after Kitzhaber’s girlfriend Cylvia Hayes for a shady energy consulting contract. And of course Frohnmayer and his pal Neil Goldschmidt helped Pernsteiner get the OUS job back in 2004. Pernsteiner reciprocated with this 2009 golden parachute contract for Frohnmayer. A bit too golden, as the state audit of that contract points out. Why does Frohnmayer hate Lariviere? Read his new 2011 UO contract with specific performance requirements regarding teaching and research expectations. Another year as UO President would mean $550,000 to top off Frohnmayer’s $252,000 PERS payout – and give him a chance to get even with the UO faculty. Bring it on Dave.
      • OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner – sure, he’s a few bricks shy of a PhD, but this would double his salary, and put him in good position for a serious PERS increase on retirement. Means, motive, and opportunity.
      • Underneath rock #3 we find Lorraine Davis. 
      • Robin Holmes
      • Bob Berdahl
      • Phil Knight

      Any other suggestions for interim President?

        Was Donegan and Pernsteiner’s decision legal?

        11/23/2011 with updates. I like the “personally liable” part.

        Here’s the deal as I understand it. The Board is now claiming they have *not* made a decision about renewal of Lariviere’s contract. They cannot do that without issuing public notice and having a meeting. Instead, OUS Board Chair Matt Donegan polled the members, then met with Lariviere Monday and told him he did not think the contract would be renewed. He asked Larivere to go quietly.

        Lariviere went to the Governor for help. Tuesday at 4PM, Kitzhaber told Lariviere no, he would stand by the board and their decision. Tuesday night Lariviere then told the UO leadership via conference call he would not go quietly.

        The OUS board and their ace legal counsel Ryan Hageman have now written a press release serving public notice of a public meeting to ratify the decision they have already made without a public meeting. This is the situation Donegan had hoped to avoid by convincing Lariviere to resign.

        Given that “personally liable” part, I’m wondering what lawyer advised OUS board chair Matt Donegan that he could poll the board and make a secret decision to fire Lariviere. OUS Counsel Ryan Hageman? Or Dave Frohnmayer or Melinda Grier – both of whom were part of recent proposals to provide legal advice to OUS regarding employment law.

        So, was it legal? Read this RG story on a very similar recent case:

        Lane County Commissioners Rob Handy and Pete Sorenson willfully violated Oregon’s public meetings law in 2009 and are personally liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses in the case, a judge said in a ruling released Tuesday.

        Handy lined up votes to approve personal assistants for commissioners and worked with Sorenson in advance to script a vote, making the resulting public process a “sham,” Coos County Circuit Judge Michael Gillespie wrote in a 44-page opinion. “It was orchestrated down to the timing and manner of the vote so as to avoid any public discussion.”

        That sounds familiar. Here’s Oregon’s public meetings law:

        ORS 192.620 establishes Oregon’s policy of open decision-making by governing bodies:

        The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made. It is the intent of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly.

        This open decision-making policy is given effect by the law’s substantive provisions. These provisions are intended to ensure, among other things, that the meetings of governing bodies, at which decisions about the public’s business are made or discussed, are open to the public, ORS 192.630(1), (2); that the public has notice of the time and place of meetings, ORS 192.640; and that the meetings are accessible to persons wishing to attend, ORS 192.630(4), (5).

        There are provisions allowing executive sessions, for example for personnel decisions. These also require public notice:

        II.D.1. Notice
        The Public Meetings Law requires that public notice be given of the time and place of meetings. This requirement applies to regular, special and emergency meetings as those terms are used in ORS 192.640. The public notice requirements apply to any “meeting” of a “governing body” subject to the law, including committees, subcommittees and advisory groups. See discussion above of Governing Bodies and of Meetings. A governing body’s notice must be reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the persons and the media that have stated in writing that they wish to be notified of every meeting.[26]

        If a meeting will consist only of an executive session, notice still must be given to the members of the governing body, to the general public and to news media that have requested notice. The notice also must state the specific legal provision authorizing the executive session. ORS 192.640(2).

        Notices for meetings that will include both an executive session and a nonexecutive session should give notice of both and state the statutory authority for the executive session.

        OUS’s public notice page is here. OUS meetings docket page is here. I can’t find any notice that Lariviere’s contract was up for review. If that’s true, what’s the recourse?

        A citizen who believes that a governing body has violated the provisions permitting an executive session may file a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

        Their website is here.The same issue came up with the board’s 1987 decision not to renew President Olum’s contract. I’m still searching for a copy of the AG opinion on that, written by, you guessed it, our friend and then AG Dave Frohnmayer.

        Here’s a 1988 opinion reaffirming the OUS’s obligation to follow the open meetings law.

        OUS board member phone numbers

        11/24/2011:

        Not content with violating Oregon’s public meetings law by making a secret decision to fire Lariviere, the OUS Board members have now had all their phone numbers removed from the OUS website.

        Good luck with that. A helpful reader passes along their browser cache. I assume these are work numbers. Phone away!

        Matthew (Matt) W. Donegan,
        Board President
        c/o Forest Capital Partners, LLC
        111 SW 5th Avenue, Ste 3850
        Portland OR 97204
        503.200.2730
        matt_donegan@ous.edu
        Matt Donegan bio
        2013

        Jill W. Eiland, Board Vice
        President
        c/o Intel Corporation
        5200 NE Elam Young Parkway
        Hillsboro OR 97124
        503.264.5667
        jill_eiland@ous.edu
        Jill Eiland bio
        2013

        Lynda M. Ciuffetti
        2082 Cordley Hall, OSU
        Corvallis OR 97331
        541.737.2188
        lynda_ciuffetti@ous.edu
        Lynda Ciuffetti Bio
        2012

        Hannah Fisher
        c/o Disabilities Advocacy Cultural
        Association
        SMSU #118
        PO Box 751
        Portland OR 97207-0751
        student member use email
        hannah_fisher@ous.edu
        Hannah Fisher bio
        2011

        Allyn Ford
        c/o Roseburg Forest Products
        PO Box 1088
        Roseburg OR 97470
        541.679.3311
        allyn_ford@ous.edu
        Allyn Ford bio
        2013

        James (Jim) L. Francesconi
        c/o Haglund Kelley, LLP
        200 SW Market, Ste 1777
        Portland OR 97201
        503.225.0777
        jim_francesconi@ous.edu
        Jim Francesconi bio
        2012

        Farbodd A. Ganjifard
        149 Snell Hall, ASOSU
        Corvallis, OR 97330
        student member use email
        Farbodd_Ganjifard@ous.edu
        Farbodd A. Ganjifard bio
        2013

        Paul Kelly, Jr
        c/o Chancellor’s Office, PSU
        PO Box 751
        Portland OR 97207-0751
        503.702.8268
        paul_kelly@ous.edu
        Paul Kelly Bio
        2011

        Dr. Rosemary Powers
        116 Ackerman Hall, EOU
        One University Blvd
        La Grande OR 97850
        541.962.3819
        rosemary_powers@ous.edu
        Rosemary Powers bio
        2011

        Dr. Preston Pulliams
        President, Portland Community
        College
        PO Box 19000
        Portland OR 97280-0990
        503.977.4365
        preston_pulliams@ous.edu
        Preston Pulliams bio
        2012

        Kirk E. Schueler
        Chief Administrative Officer
        St. Charles Health System
        2500 NE Neff Road
        Bend OR 97701
        541.382.1662
        kirk_schueler@ous.edu
        Kirk Schueler bio
        2013

        David (Dave) V. Yaden
        275 North Shore Rd
        Lake Oswego OR 97034
        503.863.4924
        dave_yaden@ous.edu
        David Yaden bio
        2012