Live-blog: UO Board to meet Jan 23rd and 24th in Eugene

1/24/2014 update: The UO Board has elected Chuck Lillis as chair, and Ginevra Ralph as vice-chair. RG report here.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, meant, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

1/23/2014: Cocktail party version from day one, caveat being I missed the last two hours, including Coltrane on “academic plan”, Andreassen on fundraising, Moffitt on finances. Sorry, I was unable to attend day 2. Presumably the minutes will be posted soon.

  • Low turnout, as in me and 2 or 3 others, probably because UO was unclear about the fact this was a public meeting. Good work Tim, you’re earning that $218K.
  • Gottfredson wasted a lot of time on vague generalities and mission statement. Avoided AAU issues, etc.
  • Brad Shelton was generally forthright about UO’s academic and financial weaknesses, but did not explain where the money was going.
  • Randy Geller was unusually in control of himself, and generally lucid for a guy who is no longer allowed to update his website or email the faculty.
  • Trustees: Chuck Lillis and Kurt Willcox were the most engaged and informed. Allyn Ford is no dummy, Connie Ballmer, Ginevra Ralph, and Mary Wilcox had some good questions. Most of them hadn’t done the reading.
  • Elephants in the room: How much debt will Gottfredson take on to expand undergrad capacity and get more out-of-state and Chinese students? What strings will be attached to Phil Knight’s $1B donation? Are we trying to stay in the AAU or will we fold and concentrate on sports product design?
  • Jamie Moffitt said that there are economies of scale in administration. I think she means in theory, not in practice.
  • Bylaws set up so that board will be dependent on UO administration for information. No independent legal counsel or access to information about UO finances or academic issues. Gottfredson controls Counsel, Treasurer, Auditor, etc. No discussion of how the Board – which includes only one PhD and no one with experience at a research university – can possibly execute its responsibilities while being spoon-fed by Johnson Hall administrators with every incentive to make themselves look good.

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Update: Latest Rudnick, Kraemer, and Julius invoices for union bargaining

9/17/2013: UO’s GC Randy Geller is hard at work, building trust between President Gottfredson and the faculty with these latest redactions:


8/7/2013: Full pdf here. It took 2 months, $214.50, and a petition to Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner to get UO General Counsel Randy Geller to produce these. Contributions are welcome at the link on the right. These redactions look rather random and, given the extent to which the administration has talked about these issues in public, unlikely to be protected under attorney-client privilege.

The Rudnick invoices include $14K or so a month for “consultants”. Presumably that’s for Dave Frohnmayer’s former assistant and current HLGR lobbyist Marla Rae, for ghostwriting Barbara Altmann’s fact-checks and negotiating reports. No idea why we’re still paying the Kraemer firm – Berdahl had hired them for union-busting, we saw how that worked out. Dan Julius is a moderate, presumably advising the administration on how to cut a deal with the union.

Comments welcome, I’ll have details later. Meanwhile, it looks like the administration is paying about $100K a month to outside lawyers and consultants to do the bargaining with the faculty union.

Union bargaining XXI – Enter President Kyr

Thursday, 5/9/2013, 8-12 AM, Room 122 Knight Library. Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts fact-checked by Randy Geller, HLGR and their lobbyist and public relations consultant, (and former Frohnmayer aide) Marla Rae:

Synopsis:

  • Gottfredson hunkers down in his bunker.

Prologue:


Live-Blog: My take on what people said or meant to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Cast: The usuals, plus Ken Doxsee, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Mauer: Let’s start with the NTTF stuff, Art 12. union counter-counter. We’ve added in some of your language from other sections. Evaluation of NTTF’s. Nice change to have a reasonable person like Doxsee at the table, the admin team sure needs a makeover. Lots of talk about librarians – Luebke’s got it on his blog. It’s like night and day – instead of Rudnick and Gleason’s usual snide, bitter obstructionism, we’re actually getting thoughtful, respectful comments from Doxsee. It’s even rubbing off on Rudnick, sort of. Gleason still looks really, really pissed about something. Meanwhile Doxsee and the faculty team are just going through the article, fixing issues, boom boom boom.

If Gottfredson woud dump Gleason for Doxsee, we’d be done in a month, easy.

Gleason loses it over the definition of a meeting. Aargh. Pratt, Rudnick try to make peace. Blandy makes a useful suggestion.

Pratt: Art 13, Tenure and Promotion: Rudnick starts arguing word choice with a philosophy professor. Actually this is all very productive for clarifying the proposal. Again, far better than previous meetings. Doxsee’s done his homework, line by line. Gleason keeps mouth shut – good. More agreement between Doxsee and Pratt – tenure process basically works, these are minor changes. Gleason makes a useful suggestion – his first in XXI sessions!

Break, waiting for President Kyr’s limo to arrive. Everyone remarks on the remarkable change in the tone and productivity of the administration’s team today. Can Rudnick keep it up?

Big one:

Meanwhile, Rudnick presents Art 49, use of university’s information assets. 
Can’t use UO computers or info to access certain kinds of information. Respect confidentiality. Bargaining unit members are prohibited from installing virus laden screen savers. No anon email. You can use uoregon.edu email for personal matters, within limits. UO can monitor everything for any reason or none at all, no expectation of privacy. Geller will be watching. You give up your constitutional rights if you use UO systems. This is here for legal reasons. Can’t post to chatrooms? No peer to peer file sharing? No encryption of UO data, no encrypted emails, no soliciting business with UO email.

Mauer: Kyr is here, but we need some clarification here. No limitations? Admin can just take away al computer access? Rudnick: We’ll refine that. Mauer: Someone studying child pornography and society wants to download some? Rudnick: Yes, we’ll need a child porn qualifier. Mauer: Sec 4, explain? Rudnick: You won’t corrupt files, use malware, suck up too much bandwidth, clog the tubes. Her example is some student who loaded up their dorm-room with servers and had started a profitable business. We don’t want our students doing that! Mauer: Isn’t that how facebook got started? Rudnick: Exactly. (I’m thinking she missed his irony.) Cecil: This would restrict use of pseudonyms like RocketMan98? Rudnick: That’s not the intent. Anyway we could still trace your IP. Gleason: Facebook would be OK. Cecil: Could someone post to UOMatters anonymously? Gleason:  We need to work that out. Cecil: What’s the scarce university resource here? Rudnick: The concern is use of university assets. Cecil: As its written logging on to UO wifi to update my personal blog would be a violation and could be disciplined? Rudnick: I don’t know where this language came from, we’ll look into this. Mauer: Section 11 – breadth of this? Suppose I sign an online petition while logged on to UO wifi? Rudnick: My reaction would be no, this is intended to limit people who want to make personal solicitations using UO assets.

Speaking of which, please donate $5 to pay help support UO Matters!

 

Bramhall: Is this new? Blandy: it’s a mix.

Doxsee’s gone, era of good feelings is at an end. Rudnick, Gleason back to their usual pissed off expressions.

Mauer: Let’s move on, President Kyr is here. I’d like to start with new preamble proposals. This highlights the dispute over who here is “The University”. Rudnick: Let me make one thing perfectly clear. The party to this contract is the UO. We will not be called the University Administration! Mauer: Here’s article 3, shared governance. This revision follows the wishes of the UO Senate. Even when the Pres has last word, he has to explain himself to the faculty. Incorporates the Constitution. The entire article is grievable. Mauer: Here’s our counterproposal on academic freedom.

Kyr: I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts on these issues. The Senate is not at the table, and does not speak for the union or the admins. Nor does the union or the admin speak for the Senate. I do. We are not a faculty Senate, we include students, staff, OA’s. I am not presenting my personal opinion. Here is our motion. He reads it with a very strong, intense voice. Rudnick stares at him. Gleason looks bored.

Motion: 
Section 1

1.1 WHEREAS – On December 7, 2011, the statutory faculty of the University of Oregon approved unanimously the current University Constitution, which mandates shared governance at the University of Oregon under terms provided by the University Charter of 1876, which stipulates that “The president and professors constitute the faculty…and as such have the immediate governance and discipline of the public university and the students therein”;

1.2 WHEREAS – On December 15, 2011, President Lariviere ratified the University Constitution;
1.3 WHEREAS – President Gottfredson, since assuming office on August 1, 2012, has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to academic freedom and shared governance;

1.4 WHEREAS – There is precedent in our state and elsewhere for including academic freedom and shared governance among the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, as specified in the supplementary material attached as an appendix to this motion;

Section II

Be it hereby:

2.1 RESOLVED – The University Senate reaffirms its commitment to the ideals of academic freedom and shared governance;

2.2 RESOLVED – The University Senate, because of the faculty’s own statutory role in shared governance, strongly urges the university administration, during its negotiations with United Academics of the University of Oregon, to refer to itself not as “the University” but as “the university administration”;
2.3 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to manifest the University of Oregon’s commitment to academic freedom and to shared governance by including language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon that incorporates those principles and protects the role of the University Senate in shared governance.
2.4 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to strengthen academic freedom and shared governance by agreeing to incorporate the University Constitution and existing policies adopted by the Senate and the President into the relevant articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon.

Two other key principles. The Senate’s view is that the CBA must reflect the senate constituencies interest in strong shared governance. The CBA must reflect the ground rules of academic freedom, which the Senate is now discussing with the president. The Senate’s will is that the CBA must protect shared governance. Our university constitution was unanimously ratified by the faculty assembly. Any questions?

Rudnick: This is a CBA between the union and the administration. It’s a legal obligation. It’s not a policy manual. It’s a CBA and we don’t want anything else in it. You are aware that we made shared governance and freedom. You might not like them, but we’ve affirmed these principles. State law governs and supersedes the University Charter. The OUS board has the authority. It has delegated it to the President, not to the Senate. Our answer to putting the details into the CBA is no. The President is the faculty, by the way. (WTF?) You want to make this grievable. Our bottom line is that shared governance is central to the operation of the university and we are not going to allow you any mechanism for actual enforcement of the constitution.

Kyr: So why is this in other university contracts? Rudnick: I don’t know but, I’m going to bullshit you anyway. In particular, our authority will soon come from Phil Knight’s UO board and we are not going to give up any of it or let you have any way to enforce your little constitution thing.

Kyr: Yes, but nothing legally precludes you from putting the constitution into the agreement? Rudnick: We don not want anyone besides Randy Geller interpreting your constitution, and putting it into the CBA would mean some outside, neutral person could interpret and enforce this. We do not want this! We are willing to reaffirm some vague principles so long as they can never be enforced, except by the President and his lawyers, like me and the rest of my Harrang gang.

Kyr: Ok, Ok, I get what you are saying, believe me. The Senate is saying that insofar as the constitution regulates conditions of employment it wants it in the CBA. Rudnick: This is not a mandatory subject for bargaining and so if we put your shared governance into the contract it’s inappropriate. (Crowd starts laughing at her). Kyr: Here’s an example – committee composition. Who the hell would grievable. Rudnick: The Senate should not have done this! Kyr: Let me explain labor law to you. Rudnick: I understand you are not a labor lawyer! Mauer: I object. We have never said anything about grievances about Senate decisions. Rudnick: We’ve heard you. This comes from the President: No! 

Blandy and Rudnick remember there other talking point: Putting this in the contract would limit the Senate’s authority. Bramhall: huh? That’s an opinion. Rudnick: That’s the president’s opinion. Bramhall: This is in the PSU contract. Rudnick: Fine. But Gottfredson and Knight are not going to allow it here! Cecil: What specific parts of the constitution are not appropriate? Rudnick: I’m not going to tell you!

Mauer: Most of what we’re talking about is not black or white. Taking up Gleason’s point. Peer review is all about academic governance and about terms of employment. There’s an interplay. We’ve tried to strike the appropriate balance. We are not saying the union should have a role in the constitution, just that it is part of the terms of employment. Rudnick: We understand that, put those things in the contract, but I won’t tell you what particulars are not appropriate. We will not enshrine these things in the contract! Restrict this to what we are legally obligated to put in the contract. (Why is it that other university presidents are willing to do this, but Gottfredson – after all his statements about how important shared governance – is not? Hmmm.)

Kyr: The Senate wants the constitution in the CBA. (Me: If Gottfredson didn’t like this, why didn’t he debate it with the Senate during the discussion on the motion? Scared? In any case he’s now got his $300 an hour lawyer doing his job for him, explaining how he thinks. Not exactly respectful of the principle of shared governance.)

Kyr: Thanks to you Sharon for this civil discourse and for explaining to us how your boss feels about this. When do you think this will be done? Rudnick: We are close. Surprising. So long as you cave on raises, shared governance, and stop demeaning us as “The Administration” could be soon.

See y’all in two weeks. Still no counter from the administration on raises – what’s that about?