University president says unprepared professors should be shot

This would be U of Iowa President J. Bruce Harreld, speaking at a staff meeting. The Chronicle has the story here. Apparently Mr. Harreld, a former businessman, consultant, and HBS adjunct, also believes there is only “one way” to prepare lessons.

Harreld was brought to Iowa by Parker Search, the same firm that Connie Ballmer hired for the search which brought us Mike Schill. I haven’t run a poll lately, but I think it’s been obvious from day one that Ms Ballmer got us the pick of the litter.

But Iowa’s public records office is being far more transparent with the emails than UO would be. My favorite is this admirably blunt one to Harreld:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.07.37 PM

At UO, AVP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett could go after Ms Gardinier for sending this email, which clearly violates his UO Code of Ethics by not fostering a “civil, respectful and nurturing environment”. Last month I asked Triplett to explain how he intended to enforce the Code. He never responded, so I can only hope use of deadly force is off the table even for repeat offenders like me.

Open U of Iowa presidential search gets a bit contentious

Parker Executive Search, the same firm that ran UO’s search, is in charge. In comparison to UO, the Iowa search team had a full complement of faculty, selected by the faculty senate and not by the administration. And they’re bringing 4 candidates to campus, including the sitting president of Oberlin and the provosts of Ohio State and Tulane. The 4th is a former VP for IBM with no academic experience, and apparently that and the fact that Parker dissolved the committee before the campus visits, apparently to limit faculty input to the board, has some faculty upset. Story here, links to Parker’s work at UO here.

UO names Michael Schill, U Chicago Law Dean, as President

4/15/2015 updates: Schill on shared governance, from his 2013 interview at UW-Madison, here:

5. Previous chancellors of this university have had contentious relations with the Faculty Senate. Assuming that natural tension between Fac Senate and the Chancellor’s office exists, how do you expect to relate with faculty politically?

There is absolutely no reason that there has to be “tension” or a difficult relationship between the Faculty Senate and the chancellor’s office. The reason that faculty participate in shared governance isn’t because they want to fight with the chancellor. It is because they want to make the university better. That is also the objective of the chancellor. I think that the beauty of shared governance is that when differences exist-and they are as likely to exist among faculty as much as between the faculty and the chancellor-the differences can be resolved collegially through discussion, debate and, ultimately, compromise. The most important thing is to treat each other with respect and good will.

Thanks to “Geezer” for the link, in the comments.

8:55 PM updates:

Edward Russo has an informative story in the RG here.

12:11 PM updates:

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UC webpage here.

One mention in the Chronicle – he likes Coase. Good sign.

He’s got a pro-transparency bent. ATL, here:

I’m really delighted about our initiative to provide transparency on employment data. We are very proud of our employment stats and are delighted to release them in detail. I hope that publicizing this information on our website will encourage other law schools to report their statistics with the same level of granularity and with equal candor. I should note that Yale Law School already makes this data available on its website, and we have adopted their template for our own reporting.

The frequently cantankerous Brian Leiter was wildly enthusiastic when Chicago hired him from UCLA:

It really gives me great pleasure to announce that Michael Schill, a leading scholar in the areas of property, real estate law, and housing policy, who has been Dean of the law school at UCLA since 2004, will succeed Saul Levmore as Dean of the University of Chicago Law School on January 1, 2010. Before moving to UCLA, Dean Schill taught at NYU and Penn for many years, and is no doubt well-known to thousands of current law students and young lawyers as co-author of the leading casebook on property.

Schill has been, by any measure, a phenomenally successful Dean at UCLA: recruiting faculty from tenured posts at NYU, Virginia and Chicago; retaining faculty in the face of offers from Harvard, Texas, and Michigan; doubling the number of endowed chairs at the law school, and nearly doubling alumni participation in annual giving. Only rarely does one encounter a Dean who gets such rave reviews from his faculty. UCLA has, of course, been one of the nation’s top law schools for decades, but Dean Schill will leave the school in probably its strongest and most competitive position ever. My colleagues and I are fortunate, indeed, that he will take the helm here, and we look forward to welcoming him to Chicago.

11:40 AM 4/14/2015: Williamette Week has the scoop, here.

The University of Oregon will name Michael H. Schill, currently the dean of the University of Chicago Law School, as the university’s new president today, WW has learned.

Schill replaces interim president Scott Coltrane, who has served since August 2014.

The top spot at the state’s flagship university has been in near constant flux in recent years. After a long national search, Richard Lariviere replaced longtime President Dave Frohnmayer in July 2009. Lariviere’s aggressive approach alienated the Oregon University System board and they fired him in November 2011.

Michael Gottfredson replaced Lariviere but then resigned abruptly last August after two years on the job and barely a month after a newly independent board took responsibility for university governance.

Here is Schill’s bio from his homepage on the University of Chicago website:

Michael H. Schill is the Dean and Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2010, Dean Schill served as the Dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law from 2004 to 2009. His other faculty appointments include tenured positions as Professor of Law and Urban Planning at New York University and Professor of Law and Real Estate at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dean Schill is a nationally recognized expert in property, real estate and housing law and policy. He is the author or co-author of three books and over 40 scholarly articles. His work includes studies of the determinants of value in condominium and cooperative housing, the impacts of housing programs on property values, the enforcement of Fair Housing laws, mortgage securitization and the deregulation of housing markets. His casebook, Property, co-authored with James Krier and Greg Alexander is the best-selling casebook used in American law schools.

In 2004, Dean Schill founded the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. Under his and subsequent leadership the Furman Center has become one of the nation’s leading research centers on housing and the built environment.

Dean Schill serves on several nonprofit boards and civic bodies including Argonne National Laboratory, ITHAKA, the Chicago Innovation Exchange, and the Housing Preservation Compact of Chicago.

Before beginning his career as a professor, Dean Schill served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Marvin Katz of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and was a real estate attorney at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson. He graduated in 1980 with an A.B. in Public Policy from Princeton University and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Emergency Board meeting announcement here. Press conference at 12:30 in the Alumni center lobby.

Some questions to ask:

1) What commitments for new resources has the new President has been able get from the board – e.g. Phil Knight’s $1B with no athletic strings?

2) Will be the presidential transition team include the usual lawyers and “Executive Leadership Team” members who advised Gottfredson’s debacle, or will the new president formally include union and Senate leadership?

The comments are open – please add your proposed questions.

Presidential search down to Four

Rich Read of the Oregonian interviews search Chair Connie Ballmer:

… Conceivably, the board could toss out all four finalists and instruct the search committee to conduct another round of recruitment and requests for nominations. But Ballmer said search committee members “feel great” about the current four finalists, and she hopes to have a president picked in weeks, not months.

Presumably the bargaining by the finalists will include asking the trustees what resources they will secure for the new President, to make their first few years a success. The $1B Knight donation, and exactly what strings will be attached, would seem to be the first question.

Meanwhile no word on what the transition team will look like. The new president will need to quickly figure out how to develop a good working relationship with the faculty – something the current Johnson Hall dwellers seem constitutionally incapable of. Unfortunately they’ll be the ones controlling access.

UO President search now down to the semi-finalists

Not clear how many will also be applying for the U of Iowa job – a competing search also run by Parker.

From a helpful member of the sham Advisory Committee, which will not get to meet the candidates, or even meet with the real Search Committee, before the BOT convenes in executive session to hire one of them and then bring them to campus as UO’s new President, with 1.5 units of faculty buy-in.

3/20/15 – Advisory Committee will gain access to semifinalists (6-8 candidates) on paper and make recommendations to the Search Committee

3/30/15 – Advisory Committee meets to discuss semifinalists and make recommendations to the Search Committee (maybe 3/31/15)

4/1/15 & 4/2/15 – Search Committee does first round interviews with semifinalists off campus

By the end of April – Search Committee’s recommendations of finalists to the UOBOT for second round of interviews and approval and announcement to the UO Campus Community

We were told this process information is public and can be shared with our constituents.

Real Search Committee, with 2 Moffitts, 1.5 faculty, and 0 students, here.

Sham Advisory Committee, here.

Compare this with the standard AAU type hiring process as used by Iowa, here:

Either UO has a new president, or Parker Search’s Laurie Wilder lied to us

Update: I’ve been told that Laurie Wilder asked the UO Board for permission to get involved in a second search.

3/19/2015: She seemed so honest, when she talked to the Senate that afternoon:

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3/19/2015 update: I distinctly remember Parker Executive Search’s President Laurie Wilder saying, while sitting there with Connie Ballmer, that UO would get an exclusive: Parker would not take on another presidential search for an AAU university while they were working on the UO search.

But last week the Daily Iowan reported that the University of Iowa had also hired Parker to find them a new president, also in February, for $200K + expenses:

The search for the next University of Iowa president will soon be in full swing.

Jean Robillard, the UI vice president for Medical Affairs and head of the Presidential Search Committee, announced at the state Board of Regents meeting in Iowa City on Wednesday that the panel would have its first meeting on March 25. …

Regent President Bruce Rastetter said the committee’s first official meeting with Parker Executive Search — a firm the regents hired whose duty is to define the goals of the search, develop specifications for the presidential position, create a timeline, and be heavily involved in the interview process — will mostly likely take place in late April or early May. …

The regents announced they had chosen Parker in mid-February. 

Iowa has been in the AAU since 1909, so I see three possibilities:

  1. Laurie Wilder lied to the UO faculty and Ms Ballmer,
  2. UO was kicked out of the AAU in February, or
  3. the Board picked a new President in February and they forgot to tell the faculty.

UO’s search has been botched from day one, when Chuck Lillis snuck secret rules, with minimal faculty participation past the board. Faculty Trustee Susan Gary should have helped him avoid the resulting embarrassment, but she was asleep at the wheel as usual, and isn’t even on the search committee.

The Iowa search committee has 21 members. Seven of them are faculty, including the president and president elect of their faculty senate:

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There are also two students – undergraduate and graduate. Chuck Lillis’s search committee has no students, and more Moffitts than faculty.

Maybe it’s time for the Board to give it up, and beg Coltrane to keep the job?

2/11/2015 update on 9AM search meeting. Trustee Connie Ballmer, Parker princip Laurie Wilder, some people from the search committees. Only others were me and maybe 2 other faculty, one or two OA’s and staff, and Diane Dietz and RG photographer Chris Pietsch.

I have to say that I was surprised and impressed by Ms Ballmer’s and Ms Wilder’s willingness to answer some tough questions. Wilder got into the nuts and bolts of what candidates ask her (e.g. what sort of board does UO have? Control-freaks, laissez-faire, etc.) The Senate is not going to like some of the answers we’re going to get this afternoon about the process, but personally, I’m no longer quite as paranoid about the likely outcome.

2/10/2015: UO Board’s Parker Executive Search firm is not exactly top shelf

Continue reading

How to Raise a University’s Profile: Pricing and Packaging

With the UO Trustees on the lookout for a new president, a reminder of the snake-oil salesmen that will likely be applying for the job seems in order. The NYT has a hagiographic piece by Kevin Carey on former president Stephen Trachtenberg and the rise of George Washington University, here:

The George Washington University came with some assets, most importantly a prime location just a few blocks from the White House, but it had little money and suffered from an inferiority complex. “I was given an institution and told, ‘Make this place better,’ ” Mr. Trachtenberg said, “ ‘and by the way, be embarrassed that you’re not Georgetown.’ ”

Everyone wanted something from him: better facilities, better colleagues, better students — and all of those things cost money. He had no base of rich alumni like the Ivies or Georgetown did. Fund-raising was a chicken-and-egg problem: Rich people wanted to support something that was already excellent, but excellence as they understood it required millions of dollars to buy.

Mr. Trachtenberg, however, understood something crucial about the modern university. It had come to inhabit a market for luxury goods. People don’t buy Gucci bags merely for their beauty and functionality. They buy them because other people will know they can afford the price of purchase. The great virtue of a luxury good, from the manufacturer’s standpoint, isn’t just that people will pay extra money for the feeling associated with a name brand. It’s that the high price is, in and of itself, a crucial part of what people are buying.

It turns this is mostly bullshit. Paul Campos of LawyersGunsandMoney does the fact-checking, here:

This, again, turns out to be not merely untrue, but an inversion of the truth. When Trachtenberg arrived, George Washington was already one of the richest universities in the nation, with an endowment larger than that possessed by nearly 99% of the nation’s institutions of higher learning. Specifically, in 1987 GW’s endowment of $216.25 million placed it 46th among America’s colleges and universities, ahead of, among about 4,000 other institutions, Georgetown.

What fiscal magic did Trachtenberg work during his two decades at the helm? By the time he left, George Washington had the 64th largest endowment in the nation. In other words, the school’s endowment was actually smaller, in comparative terms (and after all, Trachtenberg’s claims regarding his supposed accomplishments are explicitly about the changes in the school’s comparative status during his tenure), at the end of his presidency than it had been when he took office.

Here’s hoping our Parker Executive Search firm is just as skeptical and rigorous on the fact-checking. The BOT has no experience with presidential searches, their search committee has minimal faculty participation, and they are going to make the hire before the campus even knows our new president’s name.

Campus Alert! UO Senate to meet at 3PM today, 115 Lawrence

Update: Scott Greenstone has a brief report in the ODE, here, with a subhead that pretty much captures how little JH has done on sexual violence prevention:

Coltrane promises the UO is deciding how to fight sexual assault

President Coltrane, do we have your firm commitment on your promise to decide something, someday?

My Summary:

1) Ballmer and Linder explain search process, rationale for closed search. Many skeptical questions, but all in all I think the Senate buys the closed search idea, with reluctance.
2) Marcus explains GradGate – frankly I’m still confused as to how this could have happened.
3) Coltrane explains why he hasn’t done anything about the sexual assault prevention efforts yet.

Questions for Coltrane about LibraryGate, about why he’s expanding greek life given the sexual assault problems, and whether or not he’ll support fundraising to reduce the burden of athletic ticket lottery on UO students. Coltrane evades all.

4) Policy on policies: Good discussion, Bonine has saved the Senate’s authority once again. Passes unanimously with thanks to Coltrane and Bronet for working so cooperatively.

5) Gender neutral bathrooms. Students make convincing pitch for this. Motion gives thorough explanation for why this is an important issue. Lots of discussion, Senate wants to get this right. Amendments about locks, then passes unanimously w/ applause.

Senate to meet Feb 11: Budget, Pres search, Policy on policies

Regarding the search, two of the Parker principals, Laurie C. Wilder, President, and Porsha L. Williams, Vice President, will be on campus Wednesday to answer questions about the Presidential Search. At the Senate, and also Wed, 9-10 in the Law School’s 4th floor Lewis Lounge room. This Diane Dietz story from last September does a good job describing the machinations by Chuck Lillis and Angela Wilhelms that led to Lillis getting sole authority to pick a single finalist for the job.

Regarding the budget, presumably there will be a report from the Senate Budget Committee on what they have been able to learn about the consequences of Brad Shelton’s decision to centralize funding decisions, and the recent cut in graduate student funding.

Senate Meeting Agenda – February 11, 2015

Live video feed.

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm    1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes 2.1 January 14, 2015

3:05 pm    3.   State of the University

3.1       Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions

3.2       Remarks by Parker Executive Search Firm with questions

3.3       University Budget Update

3:45 pm    4.   New Business

4.1       Motion (Resolution): Resolution to Create and Make Accessible More Gender-Inclusive Restrooms on the University of Oregon Campus; Samantha Cohen (Senator; Undergraduate, Family and Human Services), Elle Mallon (Undergraduate, Psychology), Atticus Kazarian (Undergraduate, Linguistics), Miles Sisk (Undergraduate, Political Science), LGBTQA, Theta Pi Sigma; ASUO Executive; The Women’s Center

4.2       Motion (Policy Adoption): Revision of the University’s “Policy on Policies”; Senate Executive Committee

4.3       Motion (Legislation): Committee Requirements with Moderate Revisions, Slate 5 (Tenth-Year Review); Senate Executive Committee

4:55 pm    5.   Open Discussion

4:55 pm    6.   Reports

4:55 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:55 pm    8.   Other Business

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

NOTE: The Policy Tracker may be viewed here.

Parker Executive Search execs Wilder & Williams to answer questions

2/9/2015 reminder: Two of the Parker principals, Laurie C. Wilder, President, and Porsha L. Williams, Vice President, will be on campus Wednesday to answer questions about the Presidential Search:

9-10 in the Law School’s 4th floor Lewis Lounge room, then 3-4 at the Senate meeting.

Lewis Lounge holds about 40, so if you get there early please save me a seat.

This search has been in trouble since the day Chuck Lillis and Angela Wilhelms snuck a motion by the board giving Lillis sole authority to pick one finalist. We’ll see if Parker can explain the plan to save it.

2/6/2014:  The New York Times has a story on a problematic previous search by this firm, for Rutgers, here.

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BOT posts description of their ideal UO president – no higher ed experience required

The full document is here. My take on it is very positive guarded. It emphasizes the need to stay in AAU, gets specific, emphasizes scholarship and even mentions transparency. On the other hand, as a commenter notes, it opens the door to hiring a president with no academic qualifications or experience:

… The questions and challenges facing the next president are similar to those facing other public
flagship institutions across the nation. How does the UO continue to fulfill its public mission with
low levels of state support? How does it preserve and enhance quality while at the same time
maintaining affordability? And some questions and challenges are important for the UO to address
in the context of its place as a nationally-recognized research university. How does it address
disparities between the UO and its AAU peers in faculty salaries, ratio of tenure- to non-tenure
related faculty, student/faculty ratio, and other areas critical to continued excellence and academic
competitiveness? …

The following leadership characteristics are essential for the UO’s president:

• A passion for public higher education.
• A demonstrated record of substantive leadership and accomplishment within higher
education, government, research, philanthropic, business or service environments with
multilayered constituencies.
• An exemplary record of scholarly, professional, and/or individual achievement.
• An understanding and appreciation for the research culture of an AAU institution, the
importance of graduate education, and the importance of working at the frontiers of
knowledge creation and dissemination. …

• Demonstrated success in attracting financial resources—public and private—to support the
University’s strategic direction and ambitious goals in an era of declining public support;
and a proven record of forming productive relationships with donors, alumni, and other
external constituents.
• A collegial leadership style marked by a commitment to upholding academic values and
principles of shared governance, a collaborative approach to problem-solving, and a highly
communicative and respectful relationship with faculty, students, administrative staff,
classified employees, alumni, and other stakeholders.

• A fair, firm, and compassionate leader with a reputation for transparency, integrity and high
ethical standards who will vigorously promote excellence within the institution. …
• Must demonstrate a lack of pretension, a good sense of humor, and a passion for conveying
that this is a great moment for the University of Oregon and its future.

Sounds like Scott Coltrane.

 

Trustees to appoint Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens as next UO President

11/6/2014: Trustees to appoint Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens as next UO President

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here. I know I’ve written a few unkind words about Dr. Mullens in the past, but let me be the first to say that I believe he has the necessary fundraising connections, and an unusually creative mind when it comes to finances and academic matters.

11/3/2013 Update: UO Trustees ask The People’s help in choosing next Great Leader

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Live-blog of UO Senate meeting. Connie Ballmer on search. TF on Sex Assault

News reports on Task Force recommendations:

Alexandra Wallachy in the Daily Emerald:

University Senate was action-packed and attendance-packed at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support co-chair Carol Stabile presented the task force’s recommendations at the meeting held in Lawrence 115.

The recommendation is titled “Twenty Students Per Week,” addressing the statistic that one in five women is assaulted during college according to the Center for Disease Control and the White House.

“The problem of widespread campus sexual violence is not a new one,” Stabile and the report said. “But national attention to the problem, inspired by campus activists, scholars, lawyers, politicians and the leadership provided by the White House has broken the silence and secrecy upon which sexual violence thrives.”

Stabile emphasized the role of athletics and fraternity and sorority life in sexual violence.

“We cannot ignore the fact that, despite the relatively small number of students directly involved in their activities,” Stabile and the report said, “Athletics and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) play disproportionately powerful roles in facilitating or tolerating conditions in which sexual violence occurs on campus.”

Andrew Greif in the Oregonian:

“We must not be reluctant to name sexual violence or to discuss its prevalence, even when doing so entails investigating and addressing problems within organizations that contribute to the social and cultural life of the university,” the UO Senate report states. “We cannot ignore the fact that, despite the relatively small number of students directly involved in their activities, Athletics and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) play disproportionately powerful roles in facilitating or tolerating conditions in which sexual violence occurs on campus.

Josephine Woolington in the RG:

A suspension of plans to expand the number of sorority and fraternity chapters on the University of Oregon campus is among 23 recommendations presented this afternoon to the University Senate by a task force charged with studying the UO’s sexual violence prevention efforts.

The nearly two dozen recommendations are intended to improve the UO’s prevention and support policies for victims. The changes would cost the university at least $500,000.

Other recommendations put forth by the task force include forming a sorority and fraternity sexual assault task force; creating an Office to Address Sexual and Gender Violence; funding a campus “climate” survey to assess rates of victimization; developing proposals to mandate that all students take classes on gender, sexuality and social inequity; and empowering the University Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to address sexual violence issues within the UO athletic department.

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm     1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm     2.   Approval of Minutes

3:00 pm     3.   State of the University

3.1       Connie Ballmer, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Presentation and Discussion

Very good sign that the Board is willing to talk with the faculty transparently about this. Presents basics from http://trustees.uoregon.edu/presidentialsearch. Emphasizes that we have a stable board, good interim president good place to start a search. [Be better with a big academic donation in the bag, instead of all this Duck nonsense, but it’s still good.]

Student Q: Why all these committees if board decides? Which committee really has power? A: The search committee. Q: Why no students on search committee? A: None: Q: Why 2 Moffitts but no students? A: I trust the Moffitts.

Bonine Q: What’s your view of the role of faculty, Senate, board w.r.s.t. shared governance? A: I’ll defer to Chuck Lillis.

Student Q: How long is the term of a president supposed to be? A: 7 to 12 years as goal.

3:20 pm     4.   New Business

4.1       Presentation of Recommendations from Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support (Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan, Co-Chairs and Robert Kyr, University Senate President)

REPORT HERE, powerpoint summary here.

President Kyr thanks members, especially Carol Stabile. Huge amount of work.

[Blogging will be light, I’m listening.] Professor Stabile calls out athletics and greek life in particular, notes the “wall of secrecy” around athletics, calls for them to cooperate with IAC. Calls for a suspension of plans to expand fraternities and sororities.

4.2       Strategic Planning Process, Revision of the Academic Plan, and University Priorities (Interim President Scott Coltrane and Acting Provost Frances Bronet)

Coltrane thanks Senate TF, says he will consider their proposals along with the upcoming report from the ~$200K euphemistically named “President’s Task Force”

On to “Achieving Competitive Excellence” report. Same thing presented to BOT a few months back.

4.3       Motion (Resolution): GTFF Bargaining; Regina Psaki, Professor (Romance Languages) & UO Senator

Passed unanimously. How can a university with AAU pretensions, in desperate need of more grad students, give them the shaft over pay and benefits?

Giant waste of administrative time, effort, and money. Cut a deal and let’s all get back to work – Interim President Coltrane.

5:00 pm     5.   Open Discussion

5:00 pm     6.   Reports

5:00 pm     7.   Notice(s) of Motion

5:00 pm      8.  Other Business

5:00 pm     9.   Adjournment

UO Pres Mike Gottfredson resigns for $940K cash, Coltrane is interim

8/9/2014 update: Christian Wihtol reports in the RG that UO was not obligated to pay Gottfredson $940K.

8/8/2014 2:30 pm update: Still a beautiful day out there.

Gottfredson’s separation agreement, here. $940K, half in cash within 5 days. Dr. Gottfredson agrees not to sue The University or its employees

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8/8/2014 update, on a beautiful Eugene summer morning:

Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle has a long (gated if off campus) report, here, and apparently written before the Board released the news that they’d paid Gottfredson $940K to leave early. It’s followed by a helpful timeline. Some excerpts:

There has long been a sense among faculty members that athletics has overshadowed the academic mission of the University of Oregon—an idea fueled by the millions of dollars spent on sports facilities by Philip H. Knight, an alumnus who is a founder of Nike. The money has helped make the athletics department financially independent of the university, according to athletics officials. But that independence has also raised questions about whether there is any accountability for how the department is run.

That has played out in recent years as the success of the university’s athletics teams, financially and in competition, has been frequently marred by scandals involving players, coaches, and administrators, producing plenty of presidential agita.

… But at the root of much of this is still the fear, expressed in a 2007 newspaper opinion article signed by 92 faculty members, that the university was gambling with its academic future to become “a minor-league training ground for elite athletes.”

That article dates to the tenure of David B. Frohnmayer, who led the university from 1994 to 2009. Mr. Frohnmayer was a popular former state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate. But his leadership spurred harsh criticism from some faculty members who blamed him for what they saw as a decline in the university’s academic quality.

Mr. Lariviere, on the other hand, was largely praised by professors and seen as someone who was looking out for the interests of the instructional staff. …

One of [Gottfredson’s] most outspoken critics, William Harbaugh, a professor of economics who runs an influential blog about university matters, has maintained a steady drumbeat of criticism against Mr. Gottfredson.

“There were the botched administrative hires, the pointlessly contentious relations with the faculty over academic freedom, and the union contract and the secrecy about the basketball rape allegations,” Mr. Harbaugh said in an email on Thursday.

Robert Kyr, the president of the University Senate and a professor of music, said Mr. Gottfredson had “served during one of the most difficult times in the history of our university.”

Mr. Kyr also praised Mr. Gottfredson for working with the legislature and the university system to create an independent Board of Trustees—”the most significant part of the vision that was articulated by his predecessor, Richard Lariviere.”

This year the university did gain the independence Mr. Lariviere had pushed for when a state law, supported by Mr. Gottfredson, created a new Board of Trustees to govern the institution.

But it was, apparently, that same body that has now pushed Mr. Gottfredson to resign, said Mr. Harbaugh. “Our new board is doing the right thing,” he said, “by getting rid of a failed president as quickly as possible.”

Mr. Kyr, for his part, is focusing on the future, with the board’s announcement that Scott Coltrane, the university’s provost, will take over as interim president. “His appointment is a sign of the stability and strength of the institution, and a vote of confidence from the board in our longstanding tradition of shared governance,” Mr. Kyr wrote in an email.

KEZI has some video from the board meeting here.

8/7/2014 10:00 pm update: Reports from “credentialed reporters” roll in:

Troy Brynelson and Alex Cremer in the Emerald (Dominic Allen photo):

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 10.15.48 PM

[Unclear what noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick is so smiley about, but it sure makes me worry about Coltrane’s future.]

Diane Dietz in the RG:

Former University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson is leaving the university entirely — giving up a tenured faculty position — in exchange for $940,000, according to an agreement finalized on Thursday.

Hanna Hoffman in the Statesman-Journal:

Neither Gottfredson nor board chairman Chuck Lillis cited a specific reason for his departure. However, his tenure was peppered with struggles and problems. The most public of them has been the sexual assault allegations. The men accused were dismissed from the basketball team and eventually expelled from the school, but not before the university faced public scrutiny over whether it appropriately investigated the incident.

It then released 119 pages of emails and other correspondence between Gottfredson and athletics director Rob Mullens at the request of newspapers around the state. All but six pages were fully redacted, and the Eugene Register-Guard filed a lawsuit against the university in late June over the records.

Gottfredson had an equally poor relationship with faculty and students, said economics professor Bill Harbaugh. … Fundraising fell in the second year of his presidency, and he struggled to connect with his campus. “He was just tortured by the most basic part of his job where he had to communicate with people,” Harbaugh said. “The main job of a university president these days is to raise money…this guy was the world’s worst schmoozer.”

Betsy Hammond in the Oregonian (The outraged comments are well worth reading):

EUGENE — Former University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson will receive $940,000 in severance. The UO’s Board of Trustees voted 12-0 Thursday to approve the terms of Gottfredson’s departure a day after he abruptly resigned.

8/7/2014 4:20PM live-blog from the UO Board meeting:

Short version: The board will pay Gottfredson $940K to resign the presidency and give up his academic tenure in sociology. Scott Coltrane will be the Interim President. The search for a permanent is president expected to take a year. Lillis expects the board to take charge of fundraising. No word on who will be interim provost.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 4.35.43 PM

Sharon Rudnick walks in, of all people. Presumably we paid her $300 an hour, to negotiate the $940K buyout.

Official Agenda: Accept Gottfredson’s sudden resignation, appoint interim. Nothing about search, no public comment.

Coltrane takes his seat, presumably he’s our guy. Room starts filling up. Lillis wonders if we’re going to need a bigger room. Doug Park, Coltrane, Ginevra Ralph, Chuck Lillis, Susan Gary. No UO student at the table, because there is no student trustee at the moment. 10 or so students in the audience. Calling the roll: Here, Here, President Gottfredson, excused.

Lillis: He is resigning as president, and as a faculty member. Board will vote on a separation agreement, with terms, then vote on interim. Separation agreement will be distributed to public at end of meeting.

Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University, reads motion. No discussion of separation agreement? Roll call vote starts. Unanimous yes. (Ann Curry is not on the call.)

Lillis: Now we vote on an interim. Wilhelms reads motion, which is to appoint Provost Scott Coltrane. Lillis thanks Coltrane for being willing to serve. Notes he is respected by the faculty, will provide continuity. [Ed: I agree on both points.] Board votes, give unanimous support with 2 not present in person or on phone.

Lillis notes Gottfredson’s accomplishments, at a difficult time. Says he believes Gottfredson’s secrecy over the rape allegations was appropriate, though he knows others disagree. Says Board has enormous faith in Coltrane.

Moves to adjourn formal meeting, board will take questions from “credentialed media”. The infamous Tobin Klinger manages the process.

Q: When did the board learn of the resignation? Lillis: Monday.
Q: Was he asked to to leave? Lillis: He was very gracious about it.
Q: But you’re paying him $500K [Ed: Actuallly, $940K, 1/2 in 5 days]?! Lillis: It was a fair amount. And he resigned from his tenure job too – at which he would have been paid well.
Q: Will the turnover harm UO? Lillis: It’s not ideal, but we have spectacularly unbounded opportunities. We need to deliver – looking at Coltrane.
Q: Search? Lillis: We want to hire someone who might not be looking. We expect it to take a year.
Q: Any discussion with Alumni Association? Lillis: Not that I know of.
Q: What kind of qualities in new Pres? Lillis: Great academic credentials will be #1. Experience with how universities operate, has been in trenches. Someone who is not easily misled, with communications skills, can handle external constituencies.
Q: By my math you spent $940K on the buyout. How do you justify it? Lillis: No state or tuition funds [Ed: Lillis is being evasive, this is foundation money we could have spend on scholarships, etc.] It’s fair, in the sense that it was mutually agree on.
Q: Why did he resign? Lillis: I won’t speculate. It’s a tough job.
Q: Did you encourage him to stay? Lillis: Evades.
Q: So it wasn’t about how he handled the rape allegations? Lillis: No, the laws were very complicated, not clear how it should have been handled.
Q: What does Coltrane bring to the table? How will it be different? Lillis: We are telling him his job is to focus on internal management, be a “super provost”. Board will work with development to fundraise.
Q: What are you going to do? …
Q: So what you will be paid? Coltrane: Same as Gottfredson.
Q: Problems with athletics? Coltrane: We have a very well run athletics department, and President’s and Senate committees checking up on them.

Update, 2PM: Word is that Gottfredson never gave up his tenure at UC-Irvine, and will return there forthwith. His placeholder website is here.

Update: Bob Berdahl’s disastrous choice for U of Hawaii president later demanded $2M to resign. Will our new board make the mistake of going to Berdahl for advice on Gottfredson’s replacement?

What will we pay Gottfredson? $1.1M to buy him out of the remaining 2 years? Or $0, which is what his contract specifies even if he’d give 30 days notice of his resignation, instead of just 36 hours?

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 12.22.12 PM

On the other hand we’ve apparently given him a back-up job as the world’s most overpaid Sociology Professor, at $360K a year, with tenure:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 12.41.51 PM

Update: Diane Dietz has the story in the RG (with assistance from Ian Campbell):

… Gottfredson faced a lot of criticism over the handling of a sexual assault allegation involving three UO basketball players that surfaced in May.

At about the same time, Gottfredson talked with the University Senate about the university’s handling of the assault, a biology professor, Nathan Tublitz, proposed a vote of “no confidence” for the president, citing a series of alleged leadership failures that caused great concern among university faculty, staff and employees.

Some students also complained about a perceived lack of leadership.

“A lot of students were really upset about the basketball scandal and that there wasn’t a lot of openness,” said [UO student] Friedman.

“I know some people are pretty shocked about (Gottfredson’s resignation), at least the people who keep up with politics on campus….Frankly, I don’t know what a president does on a day-to-day basis, and I don’t know why he resigned, but I assume most people will speculate it’s about the basketball stuff.”

Harbaugh, one of the administration’s harshest critics, provided a laundry list.

“There were the botched administrative hires,” he wrote, “the pointlessly contentious relations with the faculty over academic freedom and the union contract, and the secrecy about the basketball rape allegations.

“But I’m guessing the final straw for the Board of Trustees was that the donors didn’t seem to think much of his leadership, either. Instead of the expected UO independence surge, donations actually fell, from $200 million last year to $100 million.”

The process used to hire Gottfredson sparked controversy because it was a closed process, meaning the job candidates identified by a Philadelphia headhunter were kept secret until they were winnowed to one. Only the name of the winning candidate was revealed. UO faculty have advocated for an open hiring process at past changes in administration.

Allyn Ford, a timber executive who is now on the UO Board of Trustees, led a 22-member committee that spent six months identifying and interviewing candidates until it recommended Gottfredson.

“That didn’t work out well,” Harbaugh wrote. “The faculty will give the new board a huge amount of credit for executing Gottfredson’s speedy departure, but we’ll expect to be thoroughly in the loop in finding his replacement.”

Also see Troy Brynelson in the ODE (awesome photo by Taylor Wilder), and Betsy Hammond in the Oregonian.

Update: The Board of Trustees will hold an apparently public meeting at 4:30 Thursday, announcement here:

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will hold a meeting on the date and at the
location set forth below. The subject of the meeting will be a discussion of administrative
leadership and personnel.
The meeting will occur as follows:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2014 AT 4:30 pm
FORD ALUMNI CENTER, ROOM 403

8/6/2014: Effective tomorrow:

From: President Gottfredson
Subject: Transition

Dear Campus Community,

Today it is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision to depart the UO as President and pursue other opportunities in academia.

I accepted the job as President of this great institution with the clear objective of helping the University manage through a period of uncertainty and get to a place of stability. We have accomplished those objectives and I know that the UO is on the right course.

With a new governance structure for higher education, new clear benchmarks for academic excellence, and an expanding world-class faculty, the UO is on path to enhanced status as a leading public research institution. My scholarly interests beckon and Karol and I are eager to spend more time with our family. With our outstanding campus leadership and new strategic planning underway, it is appropriate for a new president to continue the legacy of this great University.

It has been an honor to serve as President of the University of Oregon. The caliber of faculty and staff, and the wonderful students and community represent the endless opportunities ahead for the University and the state. Many thanks to our outstanding students, terrific academic leadership, supportive and engaged community, dedicated staff, supportive legislature and amazing faculty colleagues.

Thank you for the privilege to serve at the University of Oregon. I know that the next president will find the same welcome that I did and I look forward to ever more greatness at the UO.

Go Ducks!

Sincerely,
Michael R. Gottfredson
President, University of Oregon

From UO Board Chair Lillis:

UO Board of Trustees Chair, Chuck Lillis, issued the following message today in response to President Gottfredson’s decision to step down as President of the University of Oregon:

President Gottfredson entered into the role as President of the University of Oregon at a critical time in our university’s history and led the institution from a state of uncertainty to a path of stability.

When President Gottfredson accepted the position two years ago, he inherited a pending NCAA investigation, which was cleared, a statewide debate about the future of higher education governance, and a new faculty union without a labor contract.

The challenges before him and the University were no small feat — but he successfully concluded the NCAA issue, worked and repaired relationships with the other University presidents, Governor and State Legislature to establish a new system of higher education governance for Oregon, including institutional boards, and negotiated a fair labor contract with the faculty union.

Despite the competing challenges, President Gottfredson never lost sight of the mission of the University of Oregon and continued to push to move the UO toward even greater academic excellence.

He identified national talent to serve as the Provost and other key leadership positions. He did a top-to-bottom review of UO operations, including how we budget and manage fiscal responsibilities. He established a Presidential Panel to review policies on sexual misconduct and adopt best practices. And he led a comprehensive space-needs assessment to make sure the UO is planning for and positioned to accommodate the growing demands to serve more students into the future.

President Gottfredson also took a critical look at where we are today — and where we need to be — establishing new ambitious but attainable benchmarks to make the UO a leading public research university that can compete on a world stage.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are grateful for the leadership of Michael Gottfredson to put the University of Oregon on a path of excellence in every area that we compete. We wish him the best in his next endeavors. The Board looks forward to seeking new leadership at this time to continue the work he started and continue to build on the legacy of the University of Oregon.

Chuck Lillis
Chair, Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon

And the last word, from the comments in the RG:

Gottfredson is off “down the road”
All his idea, so the public is told.

That 940K?…why t’was just a gift.
nothing to do with any rift.

See, we’ve got two funds, one code name “slush”
One even bigger, code name “hush”.

and we can spend the dough as we see fit,
not a damn thing you can do ’bout it.

We’re the ‘new sheriff in town’, so give us space,
as we choose, to run this place.

and if our actions, you don’t like
go join Michael on his well-paid hike.

Berdahl to ask Trustees to give Gottfredson another chance

6/8/2014: Rumor down at the faculty club is that Gottfredson and Berdahl are closeted in McMorran House, working on a strategy to convince the Trustees to give Gottfredson another chance. From the meeting packet here:

June 12, 12:00 pm: Trustees roundtable discussion with Bob Berdahl Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

Presumably Berdahl will be introduced to the board as former UC-Berkeley president, AAU, etc. A legendary leader in higher education. Then he will explain to the awestruck trustees that any more turnover in the UO presidency would be so disruptive, and the search for a replacement so difficult, that it’s better for the new Board to suffer an obvious incompetent, the last bit of baggage from OUS and Pernsteiner, rather than to do what most everyone hopes they will do: Replace Gottfredson with Scott Coltrane as interim, and get UO off to a fresh start.

Given Berdahl’s role in hiring Gottfredson (closed search, etc.) and the latest from FSU on closed searches and search firms, this all reminded me of an old post:

5/15/2012: Berdahl on his and my conflicts of interest and UO transparency crackdown. (See below for response from Pres Berdahl).

From Insidehighered.com:

Legislation in Illinois would bar public universities from using state funds, tuition revenue or student fees for search firms, The News-Gazette reported. The University of Illinois has spent almost $6 million on search firms over the last nine years, including funds on some searches that did not work out well. Critics question whether the spending is necessary, while board members say that search firms have recruited top talent.

The News-Gazette story is very balanced. We could ask our interim President Berdahl what he thinks about the costs and benefits of presidential search firms, but he seems to have a conflict of interest:

He didn’t report this on his Oregon Government Ethics Commission Verified Statement of Economic Interest – must not have made the 10% income threshold, which I’m guessing would be about $100,000.

After I posted to above, interim President Berdahl emailed me asking that I add the following response from him:

Bill:
The following is a comment that I tried to submit to UOMatters in response to your suggestion that I have conflicts of interest.  Since the comments are limited to 4,000 characters, UOMatters would not accept it.

Despite your campaign of innuendo, I have nothing to hide.

Bob

Berdhal’s comment:

At last week’s Senate meeting, I suggested that Professor Harbaugh had a conflict of interest because, as the largest single requester of public records, he also served as the chair of the Senate Transparency Committee, which has advised the administration on the university’s public records fee policy.  It is a straight-forward conflict of interest: the largest single user of a public service should not be in a position to try to influence the policy on fees for the provision of that public service.

Now, obviously irritated by the suggestion of his conflict of interest, Professor Harbaugh is responding by trying to suggest that I somehow have a conflict of interest. So, let me set out the facts for those readers of UOMatters who may be interested in facts.

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