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.

DA’s decision on bargaining transcripts due Thursday.

9/9/2013 update: Note that I am not requesting attorney notes, just transcripts taken by a UO non-attorney stenographer:

Summarizing, I am requesting that the District Attorney order UO to release what I believe are transcripts, or very close to transcripts, taken by a university employed non-attorney, of meetings that were open to the press and public. These transcripts were used by non-attorneys at UO to prepare detailed and widely disseminated public statements about these meetings. I do not believe that attorney-client privilege applied to these transcripts in the first place, but if it did, I believe that these public disclosures constitute a waiver of that privilege by UO.

Dear Mr. Warnisher:

I’m writing regarding my Aug 21 public records petition to Lane County District Attorney Gardner, asking him to order UO to provide:

“copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union.”

UO’s Public Records Office first responded to this request by arguing that under state law UO could not acknowledge whether or not it had these  transcripts (I’ll use that term, since I believe it’s the most accurate, while recognizing that UO now prefers to call them notes):

“Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))”

After I filed a petition with your office noting that there seemed to be no support for such a claim under Oregon’s public records law UO retracted it, but still refused to provide the transcripts, saying instead that:

“The University respectfully requests that Mr. Harbaugh’s appeal be denied on the basis that Ms. Davis’s notes are protected by the attorney-client privilege work-product doctrine. 

On 7/29/13 Mr. Harbaugh made a public records request for “copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis . . . on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union.”  While Ms. Davis is a UO employee, she takes notes at these sessions for and at the direction of Sharon Rudnick, an attorney hired by the UO to provide legal advice regarding labor relations.  During these meetings, Ms. Davis acts as a representative of the lawyer (Ms. Rudnick) and the purpose of Ms. Davis taking notes during the meetings is so that Ms. Rudnick may use them to provide legal advice.  Accordingly, the notes taken by Ms. Davis for Ms. Rudnick are protected under the attorney-client privilege (ORS 40.225). 

Under ORS 192.502 (9), records which are protected by attorney-client privilege are ordinarily exempt from discloser. (sic)  The Public Records Law does provide that in certain circumstances, some factual information that is privileged may not be exempt from disclosure.  See 192.502 (9)(b).  However, Mr. Harbaugh has not shown that he meets the required criteria of that section.”

These transcripts are records of bargaining sessions between the UO administration and the UO faculty union. By mutual agreement between the UO administration and the UO faculty union these bargaining sessions are open to the general public, and have at times included reporters from the Register Guard and the student press, in addition to well over a hundred UO faculty and the occasional UO student, at various sessions. 
My recollection is that the sessions for which I am requesting these particular transcripts were attended by at least half a dozen observers, as well as the union representatives from the American Federation of Teachers (Oregon) and the American Association of University Professors, and another six or so UO faculty members serving on the faculty union bargaining team.
I do not see any specific language in Oregon public records law allowing the “attorney-client privilege work-product doctrine” exemption that UO claims. If there is one, I do not see how transcripts of public events would meet any reasonable definition of “attorney-client work-product”. The Oregon Bar Counsel bulletin at http://www.osbar.org/publications/bulletin/03jan/barcounsel.html notes:

“In Oregon, ORCP36.B(3) defines ‘work product’ as a lawyer’s mental impressions, conclusions, opinions or legal theories concerning a litigation matter.
United Pacific Ins. Co. v. Trachsel, 83 OrApp 401 (1987); see also FRCivP 26(b)(3).”

Transcripts, or for that matter notes taken by a non-attorney do not meet this definition of a lawyer’s work-product. Oregon’s public records law does provide for an “attorney-client” exemption. However, Oregon law also says:

§ 40.280¹
Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure
A person upon whom ORS 40.225 (Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege) to 40.295 (Rule 514. Effect on existing privileges) confer a privilege against disclosure of the confidential matter or communication waives the privilege if the person or the persons predecessor while holder of the privilege voluntarily discloses or consents to disclosure of any significant part of the matter or communication.

While UO claims above that one purpose of these transcripts is so that Ms. Rudnick may use them to provide legal advice is presumably true, I believe it is also the case that they are used to prepare the public updates that UO posts on the internet, as noted in my original petition:

The UO administration regularly posts updates on the bargaining sessions on an official UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/, and did so for the 7/23 and the 7/24 sessions. The UO website above states that the bargaining updates are prepared by Barbara Altmann, another UO employee. Ms Altmann does not regularly attend the bargaining sessions, and was present at these sessions for no more than 30 minutes total, if at all. So these official UO updates are the product of either the Davis or the Grado notes, or both.

Neither the first or the second response from UO’s public records office regarding this request disputed this.

The posts for these particular sessions are at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/2013/07/23/bargaining-summary-72213/ and http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/2013/07/25/bargaining-summary-72313/. They are quite extensive and detailed. UO also emails these reports on bargaining sessions to about 275 employees on its labor relations email list, as their public records office revealed after 2 additional public requests.

In addition, Ms Rudnick has talked to reporters about the matters discussed in the bargaining sessions and recorded in these transcripts. For examples, see the Oregon Daily Emerald news stories at http://dailyemerald.com/2013/02/11/the-thinking-behind-the-uo-faculty-union-negotiations/ and http://dailyemerald.com/2013/02/11/the-thinking-behind-the-uo-faculty-union-negotiations/
Summarizing, I am requesting that the District Attorney order UO to release what I believe are transcripts, or very close to transcripts, taken by a university employed non-attorney, of meetings that were open to the press and public. These transcripts were used by non-attorneys at UO to prepare detailed and widely disseminated public statements about these meetings. I do not believe that attorney-client privilege applied to these transcripts in the first place, but if it did, I believe that these public disclosures constitute a waiver of that privilege by UO.
I authorize a week extension for the response to this petition, to Sept. 12. I thank you for your time and attention to this petition and your response. 
Bill Harbaugh, 
http://www.openuporegon.com
On TuesdayAug 27, 2013, at 3:44 PM, WARNISHER Bill <Bill.WARNISHER@CO.Lane.OR.US> wrote:
Mr. Harbaugh,
I have not received any notes/minutes or transcripts from the University.
I will delay making a decision for an additional week.
Sincerely,
Bill Warnisher  
Bill Harbaugh, 
Editor and Blogger
http://www.openuporegon.com
On WednesdayAug 21, 2013, at 5:43 PM, WARNISHER Bill <Bill.WARNISHER@CO.Lane.OR.US> wrote:
Lisa,
The District Attorney has received the accompanying request for public records release. If you wish, you may respond with any supplemental information copied to Mr. Harbaugh.
Sincerely,
Bill Warnisher
Deputy District Attorney
Begin forwarded message:
From: UO Matters <uomatters@gmail.com>
Date: August 21, 2013, 2:44:54 AM EDT
To: PERLOW Patty <Patty.PERLOW@CO.Lane.OR.US>
Cc: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, Michael Gottfredson <mgott@uoregon.edu>, Randy Geller <rgeller@uoregon.edu>, doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Barbara Altmann <baltmann@uoregon.edu>, “kate.grado@harrang.com” <kate.grado@harrang.com>
Subject: public records petition for UO administration’s bargaining notes
Dear District Attorney Gardner:
On 7/29/2013 I made the public records request appended below, asking for 
copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union. 
Yesterday I received the response below from UO, stating that 
Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))  
I have looked through the relevant ORS and its references, and the latest AG Public Records manual, and, in an effort to be thorough, the online Multnomah County DA PR opinions at http://web.multco.us/recording/public-records-research. I can’t find anything that supports this denial of the part of my public records request relating to the transcripts taken down by Ms Davis. 
Ms Davis is a UO employee. She has been present at most if not all of the union bargaining sessions, sitting with the administration’s bargaining team, and obviously taking the discussion down in detail and by appearances almost verbatim, typing on a laptop. The UO administration’s chief negotiator, Sharon Rudnick of HLGR, has referred more than once to these transcripts, while looking at Ms Davis, as a record of the meetings, which are open to the public. My understanding is that taking transcripts or minutes is common practice during collective bargaining, in part in case of post-contract arguments about the meaning of articles. 
No other members of the administrative bargaining team that regularly attend the bargaining sessions take notes. No one on their team took anything other than very sporadic written notes during the 7/23 and 7/24 sessions that were the subject of this public records request, and which I attended as a member of the collective bargaining unit. 
The UO administration regularly posts updates on the bargaining sessions on an official UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/, and did so for the 7/23 and the 7/24 sessions. The UO website above states that the bargaining updates are prepared by Barbara Altmann, another UO employee. Ms Altmann does not regularly attend the bargaining sessions, and was present at these sessions for no more than 30 minutes total, if at all. So these official UO updates are the product of either the Davis or the Grado notes, or both. 
UO says in their PR response that they do not possess the Grado notes, so these posts must be based from the Davis transcripts. Even if they are based instead on the Grado notes, I cannot see any argument for allowing UO to deny my request for the Davis transcripts, much less for UO refusing to say one way or another if these transcripts exist. (Would they also argue that they can refuse to say if any documents that might refer to these transcripts exist?)
Therefore, this is a petition to Lane County DA Alex Gardner, asking him to order UO to produce the Davis notes, minutes, or transcripts without further delay. 
Thanks for your help with this petition.
Bill Harbaugh, 
Editor and Blogger
From: UO Matters <uomatters@gmail.com>
Subject: public records request, 7/23 and 7/24 faculty union bargaining notes
Date: July 29, 2013 10:18:29 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Doug Blandy <dblandy@uoregon.edu>, Barbara Altmann <baltmann@uoregon.edu>
Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union. 
I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest, as demonstrated by the importance of this bargaining to UO’s future, and the continuing public discussion about the bargaining sessions. On the Sunday after these sessions the Register Guard ran a front page story reporting on bargaining progress, at http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/30211243-75/university-faculty-bargaining-union-administration.html.csp and another at http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/30221769-75/percent-faculty-university-union-bargaining.html.csp. I’ve posted about the discussions at these two meetings at http://uomatters.com, and the administrative bargaining team has posted summaries, and replies to my posts, on their blog at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/
Thanks for your help with this request, 
Bill Harbaugh, 
Editor and Blogger
On MondayAug 19, 2013, at 5:38 PM, “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:
08/19/2013
Dear Mr. Harbaugh-
Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))  
Additionally, the University of Oregon does not possess records responsive to your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by…Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”.  
The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Sincerely,
Lisa 
Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541)346-6823
On FridayAug 23, 2013, at 3:52 PM, WARNISHER Bill <Bill.WARNISHER@CO.Lane.OR.US> wrote:
Mr. Harbaugh,
I have received the accompanying  reply for the University. If you would like to add any response please do so with a copy to the University.
Sincerely,
Bill Warnisher
From: Office of Public Records [mailto:pubrec@uoregon.edu
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 1:27 PM
To: WARNISHER Bill
Subject: RE: public records petition for UO administration’s bargaining notes
8/23/2013
Dear Mr. Warnisher: 
In his most recent public records appeal, Mr. Harbaugh requests that the University be ordered to provide him with certain notes taken by Brandalee Davis.  The University respectfully requests that Mr. Harbaugh’s appeal be denied on the basis that Ms. Davis’s notes are protected by the attorney-client privilege work-product doctrine. 
On 7/29/13 Mr. Harbaugh made a public records request for “copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis . . . on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union.”  While Ms. Davis is a UO employee, she takes notes at these sessions for and at the direction of Sharon Rudnick, an attorney hired by the UO to provide legal advice regarding labor relations.  During these meetings, Ms. Davis acts as a representative of the lawyer (Ms. Rudnick) and the purpose of Ms. Davis taking notes during the meetings is so that Ms. Rudnick may use them to provide legal advice.  Accordingly, the notes taken by Ms. Davis for Ms. Rudnick are protected under the attorney-client privilege (ORS 40.225). 
Under ORS 192.502 (9), records which are protected by attorney-client privilege are ordinarily exempt from discloser.  The Public Records Law does provide that in certain circumstances, some factual information that is privileged may not be exempt from disclosure.  See 192.502 (9)(b).  However, Mr. Harbaugh has not shown that he meets the required criteria of that section. 
When the Office of Public Records initially denied Mr. Harbaugh’s request, it incorrectly stated that “state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested records exist.” The requested records do exist, and we do not have a basis for saying otherwise.  We will make that correction with Mr. Harbaugh as well. 
For the reasons outlined above, the University respectfully requests that you deny Mr. Harbaugh’s public records appeal.
Sincerely,
Lisa
Lisa Thornton
Public Records Officer
University of Oregon
Office of the President
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541)346-6823
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:44 PM
Subject: FW: public records petition for UO administration’s bargaining notes
Lisa,
The District Attorney has received the accompanying request for public records release. If you wish, you may respond with any supplemental information copied to Mr. Harbaugh.
Sincerely,
Bill Warnisher
Deputy District Attorney
Begin forwarded message:
From: UO Matters <uomatters@gmail.com>
Date: August 21, 2013, 2:44:54 AM EDT
To: PERLOW Patty <Patty.PERLOW@CO.Lane.OR.US>
Cc: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, Michael Gottfredson <mgott@uoregon.edu>, Randy Geller <rgeller@uoregon.edu>, doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Barbara Altmann <baltmann@uoregon.edu>, “kate.grado@harrang.com” <kate.grado@harrang.com>
Subject: public records petition for UO administration’s bargaining notes
Dear District Attorney Gardner:
On 7/29/2013 I made the public records request appended below, asking for 
copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union. 
Yesterday I received the response below from UO, stating that 
Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))  
I have looked through the relevant ORS and its references, and the latest AG Public Records manual, and, in an effort to be thorough, the online Multnomah County DA PR opinions at http://web.multco.us/recording/public-records-research. I can’t find anything that supports this denial of the part of my public records request relating to the transcripts taken down by Ms Davis. 
Ms Davis is a UO employee. She has been present at most if not all of the union bargaining sessions, sitting with the administration’s bargaining team, and obviously taking the discussion down in detail and by appearances almost verbatim, typing on a laptop. The UO administration’s chief negotiator, Sharon Rudnick of HLGR, has referred more than once to these transcripts, while looking at Ms Davis, as a record of the meetings, which are open to the public. My understanding is that taking transcripts or minutes is common practice during collective bargaining, in part in case of post-contract arguments about the meaning of articles. 
No other members of the administrative bargaining team that regularly attend the bargaining sessions take notes. No one on their team took anything other than very sporadic written notes during the 7/23 and 7/24 sessions that were the subject of this public records request, and which I attended as a member of the collective bargaining unit. 
The UO administration regularly posts updates on the bargaining sessions on an official UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/, and did so for the 7/23 and the 7/24 sessions. The UO website above states that the bargaining updates are prepared by Barbara Altmann, another UO employee. Ms Altmann does not regularly attend the bargaining sessions, and was present at these sessions for no more than 30 minutes total, if at all. So these official UO updates are the product of either the Davis or the Grado notes, or both. 
UO says in their PR response that they do not possess the Grado notes, so these posts must be based from the Davis transcripts. Even if they are based instead on the Grado notes, I cannot see any argument for allowing UO to deny my request for the Davis transcripts, much less for UO refusing to say one way or another if these transcripts exist. (Would they also argue that they can refuse to say if any documents that might refer to these transcripts exist?)
Therefore, this is a petition to Lane County DA Alex Gardner, asking him to order UO to produce the Davis notes, minutes, or transcripts without further delay. 
Thanks for your help with this petition.
Bill Harbaugh, 
Editor and Blogger
From: UO Matters <uomatters@gmail.com>
Subject: public records request, 7/23 and 7/24 faculty union bargaining notes
Date: July 29, 2013 10:18:29 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Doug Blandy <dblandy@uoregon.edu>, Barbara Altmann <baltmann@uoregon.edu>
Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union. 
I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest, as demonstrated by the importance of this bargaining to UO’s future, and the continuing public discussion about the bargaining sessions. On the Sunday after these sessions the Register Guard ran a front page story reporting on bargaining progress, at http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/30211243-75/university-faculty-bargaining-union-administration.html.csp and another at http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/30221769-75/percent-faculty-university-union-bargaining.html.csp. I’ve posted about the discussions at these two meetings at http://uomatters.com, and the administrative bargaining team has posted summaries, and replies to my posts, on their blog at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/
Thanks for your help with this request, 
Bill Harbaugh, 
Editor and Blogger
On MondayAug 19, 2013, at 5:38 PM, “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:
08/19/2013
Dear Mr. Harbaugh-
Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by Brandalee Davis (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))  
Additionally, the University of Oregon does not possess records responsive to your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by…Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”.  
The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Sincerely,
Lisa 
Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541)346-6823


8/27/2013 update: After getting all medieval on me for “posting of false and inaccurate information about bargaining” the administration’s bargaining team is now trying to keep me from posting copies of the presumably fact-based transcripts they’ve been taking at every bargaining session. The latest:

Many of my readers are on the administration’s laborrelations@uoregon.edu mailing list. Thanks to those who forward the occasional message, more welcome. As part of my efforts to get the bargaining session transcripts, I would like to argue that the transcripts are used by UO or its lawyers or PR firms to prepare public comments about the sessions. So let’s see what info they’ve been sending to whom:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013 11:57 PM
To: Office of Public Records
Subject: Re: public records petition for UO administration’s bargaining notes

Dear Ms Thornton –

I’m putting together a response to your email below to Mr. Warnisher from the DA’s office, in which you claim an attorney-client privilege for these bargaining session transcripts.

This privilege is typically considered waived if the records involved are used by the client to discuss the matter involved in public. I’ve been told that UO uses these to prepare bargaining updates which are sent out the the laborrelations@uoregon.edu listserv, and that this listserv includes many UO faculty and administrators, and perhaps others outside UO as well.

Therefore It would be helpful to my response to your email below to Mr. Warnisher if you could provide me with 

a) a complete list of the email addresses of the subscribers to this listserv, including non-UO email addresses, and

b) any messages sent to this listserv from 7/22/2013 to the present.

Today I got this response:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh-

The email laborrelations@uoregon.edu is not a listserv, and as such the University does not possess records responsive to your request for “a) a complete list of the email addresses of the subscribers to this listserv [laborrelations@uoregon.edu], including non-UO email addresses, and b) any messages sent to this listserv from 7/22/2013 to the present”.

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

Well, that’s partly true. UO has switched its mailing lists from listserv to mailman. But there’s a very nice interface that makes it simple for the administrator to get the list of subscribers and the archives:

I wonder what excuse Hubin’s public records office will try next? Lets find out:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: Re: Public Records Request 2014-PRR-065
Date: August 27, 2013 2:17:31 PM PDT
To: “Office of Public Records” Cc: WARNISHER Bill , Melissa Woo , Randy Geller , Barbara Altmann , Doug Blandy , Timothy Gleason

Hi Lisa –

listserv may not be technically correct name for the software that is being used, but there certainly is an email list that is used by the administration’s bargaining team to send detailed updates on the bargaining sessions to a wide list of UO faculty, and others.

I believe these are derived from Ms Davis’s transcripts, and they are often sent out under Professor Barbara Altmann’s name.

People on the list occasionally forward copies of these to me, one example is below, the header clearly shows the laborrelations@uoregon.edu address:

FROM: Labor Relations <laborrelations@uoregon.edu>
DATE: May 10, 2013 5:20:30 PM PDT
TO: Labor Relations <laborrelations@uoregon.edu>
SUBJECT: BARGAINING UPDATE: BARGAINING SUMMARY 5/9/13
_
A Message from the University of Oregon Bargaining Team_

BARGAINING SUMMARY 5/9/13
ARTICLE 12: NTTF REVIEW AND PROMOTION

I reiterate my request for a list of the subscribers or people to whom the message is sent, and copies of the messages sent, from 7/22 to the present.

Please let me know when I can expect to receive these documents.

8/23/2013: UO Changes story on bargaining transcripts

update: UO is now admitting they do have notes from the bargaining sessions, taken by a UO stenographer. They now claim that these are protected by attorney-client privilege:

8/23/2013 

Dear Mr. Warnisher [Attorney with Lane County DA Alex Gardner’s office]

In his most recent public records appeal, Mr. Harbaugh requests that the University be ordered to provide him with certain notes taken by [UO employee].  The University respectfully requests that Mr. Harbaugh’s appeal be denied on the basis that [UOE’s] notes are protected by the attorney-client privilege work-product doctrine.

On 7/29/13 Mr. Harbaugh made a public records request for “copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by [UOE] . . . on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union.”  While [UOE] is a UO employee, she takes notes at these sessions for and at the direction of Sharon Rudnick, an attorney hired by the UO to provide legal advice regarding labor relations.  During these meetings, [UOE] acts as a representative of the lawyer (Ms. Rudnick) and the purpose of [UOE] taking notes during the meetings is so that Ms. Rudnick may use them to provide legal advice.  Accordingly, the notes taken by [UOE] for Ms. Rudnick are protected under the attorney-client privilege (ORS 40.225).

Under ORS 192.502 (9), records which are protected by attorney-client privilege are ordinarily exempt from discloser.  The Public Records Law does provide that in certain circumstances, some factual information that is privileged may not be exempt from disclosure.  See 192.502 (9)(b).  However, Mr. Harbaugh has not shown that he meets the required criteria of that section.

When the Office of Public Records initially denied Mr. Harbaugh’s request, it incorrectly stated that “state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested records exist.” The requested records do exist, and we do not have a basis for saying otherwise.  We will make that correction with Mr. Harbaugh as well.

For the reasons outlined above, the University respectfully requests that you deny Mr. Harbaughs public records appeal.

Sincerely,
Lisa Thornton
Public Records Officer
University of Oregon
Office of the President

08/20/2013: I’m no lawyer, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how state law, or the opinions in the AG’s public records manual, provide any support for the latest attempt by President Gottfredson’s general counsel Randy Geller to hide public records from the public:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh- 

Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by [UO employee] (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))   

Additionally, the University of Oregon does not possess records responsive to your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by…Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”.   

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request. 

Sincerely,
Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

There’s a UO employed stenographer typing away on her laptop, at a speed I envy, at every public bargaining session. Three chairs to the left of Sharon Rudnick, who has mentioned her and her transcripts several times. Now this is suddenly classified? For whose benefit – other than Ms Rudnick’s? Let’s find out a little more:

Dear District Attorney Gardner:

On 7/29/2013 I made the public records request appended below, asking for
copies of the notes/minutes/transcripts taken by [UO employee] (UO) and Kate Grado (HLGR) on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union.  

Yesterday I received the response below from UO, stating that
Regarding your request for “…copies of all notes/minutes/transcripts taken by [UOE] (UO)…on laptops during the 7/22/2013 and 7/23/2013 bargaining sessions with the UO faculty union”, state law prohibits the University from acknowledging whether the requested record exists. (ORS 192.502(9)(b))   

I have looked through the relevant ORS and its references, and the latest AG Public Records manual, and, in an effort to be thorough, the online Multnomah County DA PR opinions at http://web.multco.us/recording/public-records-research. I can’t find anything that supports this denial of the part of my public records request relating to the transcripts taken down by [UOE] .  

[UOE] is a UO employee. She has been present at most if not all of the union bargaining sessions, sitting with the administration’s bargaining team, and obviously taking the discussion down in detail and by appearances almost verbatim, typing on a laptop. The UO administration’s chief negotiator, Sharon Rudnick of HLGR, has referred more than once to these transcripts, while looking at [UOE] as a record of the meetings, which are open to the public. My understanding is that taking transcripts or minutes is common practice during collective bargaining, in part in case of post-contract arguments about the meaning of articles.  

No other members of the administrative bargaining team that regularly attend the bargaining sessions take notes. No one on their team took anything other than very sporadic written notes during the 7/23 and 7/24 sessions that were the subject of this public records request, and which I attended as a member of the collective bargaining unit.  

The UO administration regularly posts updates on the bargaining sessions on an official UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/, and did so for the 7/23 and the 7/24 sessions. The UO website above states that the bargaining updates are prepared by Barbara Altmann, another UO employee. Ms Altmann does not regularly attend the bargaining sessions, and was present at these sessions for no more than 30 minutes total, if at all. So these official UO updates are the product of either the [UOE] or the Grado notes, or both. 

UO says in their PR response that they do not possess the Grado notes, so these posts must be based from the [UOE] transcripts. Even if they are based instead on the Grado notes, I cannot see any argument for allowing UO to deny my request for the [UOE] transcripts, much less for UO refusing to say one way or another if these transcripts exist. (Would they also argue that they can refuse to say if any documents that might refer to these transcripts exist?) 

Therefore, this is a petition to Lane County DA Alex Gardner, asking him to order UO to produce the [UOE] notes, minutes, or transcripts without further delay. 

Thanks for your help with this petition.

Update #4: New UO proposal on consulting imposes unacceptable new rules

Negotiations between the union and the administration resume at 1PM Tuesday, Room 122 or 101 in the library. If you care about this stuff, I suggest you show up.


9/9/2013 update #2: The take from the administration’s bargaining update pages?

Article 52: Outside Activities
We presented the Union with a counterproposal on Outside Activities (consulting). The parties did not engage in any substantive discussion about it.

My notes:

Gottfredson is not content with just paying us wages at the bottom of the AAU. His new consulting policy proposal will require that *any* consulting activity, even below 1 day in 7, must first be approved by his Provost or designee. 

9.5 minutes to go. Rudnick is wasted. Cecil just keeps on going. “Let’s go back to the consulting article.”

Olson: Will this apply to non-BU faculty?

Rudnick: “My understanding is that, as a general rule, the intent is *all* policies will apply to all employees.”

Also see the administration’s “fact-check” page, which notes that their proposed policy resembles that at UW. I’d link to them, but they don’t link to me, so try google.

What do the transcripts taken down by the university’s stenographer say? President Gottfredson will not release these transcripts, claiming attorney-client privilege. I have a public records petition in to Lane County DA Alex Gardner, arguing that transcripts of a public meeting taken by a university employed non-attorney are not privileged, and that even they are UO has waived that privilege by posting information from those transcripts on the web and circulating them to their laborrelations email list.

His decision is due Thursday. If it goes against me, I will ask the Senate to ask Gottfredson to waive UO’s privilege and release all UO’s transcripts of the public bargaining sessions.

9/9/2013 update: Gottfredson and Geller’s process for this consulting proposal appears to violate the UO Constitution, or at least common practices of collegiality. The working group report from 2010 is at the bottom of this post. Some highlights:

“…required reporting from all faculty members is neither appropriate nor necessary.”
“…activities performed on personal time are exempt from regulation unless they pose potential conflicts of interest or conflict with the proper discharge of University responsibilities. (See: UO PP 3.095 and IMD 4.015).”

9/8/2013 update: See bottom of the post for the UC policy – a striking comparison with what Gottfredson is proposing.

9/7/2013: I will try and avoid hyperbole here, but this is rather amazing.

At the bargaining session on Friday the UO administration presented a new contract article: Article 52, Outside Activities. At this point in the negotiations, which are nearing conclusion, it is unusual to drop a bombshell. This is one.

This proposal requires faculty wanting to engage in outside consulting work to first obtain permission from the university. If you are a law professor or PI, you may be thinking that this proposal will not apply to you, because you are not in the union. However it would be difficult for the university to have 2 sets of rules for this sort of thing, and during the discussion the university’s negotiator, Sharon Rudnick volunteered that:

“My understanding is that, as a general rule, the intent is that *all* policies will apply to all employees.”

This proposal defines consulting broadly, and it spells out many criteria that must be followed before permission will be granted.

Some of these criteria are quite specific, and contrary to common practice. For example, when combined with the administration’s Intellectual Property proposal, it would seem that proposals to do consulting work will only be approved if the agreement makes clear that the work product of your consulting may belong to UO – see 3.h. (This refers to UO’s Intellectual Property proposal. You can download this from UO’s bargaining website, here. It raises a host of problems on its own.)

Other criteria for approval are unbelievably broad, such as 3.k:

“The consulting is not contrary to the University’s best interests”

Gosh, who gets to decide that one?

These new rules, if implemented, will make it close to impossible for faculty in music, law, business, economics, education, psychology, physics, nano-science, chemistry, human physiology, etc. to engage in most consulting work. If you are in this category, I encourage you to contact your department head and/or dean and explain the problems with this administration proposal, and ask them to contact President Gottfredson and his lead negotiator, UO General Counsel Randy Geller, at rgeller@uoregon.edu, to make those concerns known. Here is the text of the proposal:

UNIVERSITY PROPOSAL
9-6-13
ARTICLE 52
OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES

Section 1. As used in this Article, “consulting” means any professional activity for which a bargaining unit faculty member is paid that is external to the University or beyond the assigned duties for which the bargaining unit member is appointed and paid by the University.
Section 2. Bargaining unit faculty members owe their primary professional responsibility to the University. Full-time employment requires a work effort of at least 40 hours in a full work-week. Part-time employment requires a proportional effort. No bargaining unit faculty member is to receive compensation from a source other than the University for work performed as a part of his or her university employment. Activities unrelated to a bargaining unit faculty member’s University responsibilities and areas of professional competence do not require prior approval, but such activities may be engaged in only on the bargaining unit faculty member’s own time and must be in compliance with applicable law. Such activities by definition do not meet the criteria set forth in Section 3 of this Article.
Section 3. Consulting activity must have the prior written approval of the Provost or designee prior to initiation of the consulting activity. Approval of consulting activity may only be granted if the proposed activity satisfies the following criteria:
a. It is within the scope of the bargaining unit member’s professional competence.

b. The consulting is bona fide and work under the engagement is actually performed.

c. It will not impair, in quality or quantity, the performance of the bargaining unit faculty member’s assigned duties, including regularly scheduled teaching or work pursuant to the terms and conditions of any grant and contract.

d. In the case of a bargaining unit member with a full-time appointment, consulting activity does not exceed 39 days in an academic year or 48 days in a fiscal year (including travel). This limitation does not apply to activities in which the bargaining unit faculty member engages during periods of vacation leave or on legal holidays, or during the summer for nine month appointments, or where actual practice in a bargaining unit member’s professional field is required by his or her job description and any such practice has the approvals required in this Article.
e. It does not involve the use of more than de minimis University resources, except as provided in a current agreement signed by the Provost or designee.
f. Each client is informed by the bargaining unit faculty member that he or she is acting as a private person and that the University is not a party to the contract, nor liable, nor responsible for the performance of the contract.
g. The consulting is not under a grant or contract to which the University is a party;

h. Each client is informed that the bargaining unit faculty member’s obligations to the University, including those related to intellectual property, are primary, unless otherwise approved in writing by the University.
i. The consulting will not result in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information or the unapproved transfer of University intellectual property.
j. The consulting is consistent with University commitments under sponsored research
agreements.

k. The consulting is not contrary to the University’s best interests.

l. The consulting complies with applicable law, including ORS Chapter 244, as interpreted by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, and approval has been granted as provided in ORS 351.067.
Section 4.

a. Declaration. A bargaining unit faculty member who performs any consulting subject to the approval required in this Agreement must complete the Declaration of Outside Employment or Consulting for Compensation form on an annual basis. An updated form must be submitted throughout the year if a bargaining unit faculty member proposes to engage in outside employment or consulting.
b. Approval. Approval for consulting by a bargaining unit faculty member may be granted only when the proposed activity satisfies the criteria set forth in this Article. In his or her request for approval, a bargaining unit faculty member must provide the following information to the Provost or designee: (1) an estimate of the time that will be required; (2) the subject and scope of the activity; and (3) the extent to which University facilities will be used.
c. Use of University Resources. If University resources are to be used (other than assigned office or studio space or the library and subject to priority for their use in University activities), the bargaining unit faculty member must enter into a written agreement with the University (acting through the Provost or designee) prior to using any such resources. Such an agreement must: (1) stipulate the kind and extent of equipment usage, the direct costs to be incurred, and liability for personal injury or damage to University property; (2) include provisions for appropriate advance payment to the University; (3) and indicate that the required administrative approvals for the consulting has been obtained.
d. Other Work. Any work by a bargaining unit faculty member for the University that is in addition to the bargaining unit faculty member’s primary University employment, whether or not it is termed consulting, must be approved by the Provost or designee, and compensation for any such work is taxable as income, unless the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee has approved an independent contractor relationship.
Section 5. 
The following outside activities do not require approval if they are uncompensated except for reasonable expenses and nominal honoraria, and are consistent with the bargaining unit faculty member’s obligations to the University:
a. Participation in scholarly, professional, and philanthropic activities, such as service on advisory bodies or public commissions related to the bargaining unit member’s field of professional competence;
b. Presenting lectures or leading seminars or workshops in the bargaining unit member’s area of professional competence at other universities, colleges or not-for-profit institutions;

c. Visiting the laboratories of colleagues at other universities, colleges, or not-for-profit institutions.

Update from 9/8/2013:

A reader sends this link to the University of California policy on outside work and Intellectual Property. UC encourages faculty to do consulting for 1 day in 7. No prior approval is required:

The University of California encourages faculty to participate in outside professional activities that contribute to their profession and to the broader community and contribute to the University’s public service mission. Engagement with the outside community is also an important component of the academic enterprise and one way in which faculty and other researchers maintain contact with research directions and priorities that exist in the private sector. This knowledge also guides faculty in preparing students for careers in the private sector.

When it comes to IP, UC wants to know about their faculty’s patentable inventions so they can negotiate a split of the royalties:

The University must be able to meet its obligations assumed under legal contractual obligations with regard to intellectual property rights. Such rights may be generated by faculty and other researchers as a result of sponsored research agreements, material transfer agreements, and other research support agreements entered into on behalf of those faculty and research staff. Therefore, all inventions made by a University employee must be disclosed to the University, including inventions made on weekends, on leave, at home “in the garage,” or during paid or unpaid consulting work. Disclosure is a legal obligation of employment at the University. 

Employees must assign inventions when certain conditions exist  

The process of determining the University’s rights in any potentially patentable invention made by a University employee is initiated with the disclosure of an invention, typically on a Record of Invention form. The University may assert its right to an invention based on three primary criteria: 

1) the use of University funds or facilities in conceiving and/or developing the invention;

2) potential obligations to third parties; and 

3) intellectual property rights and obligations that arise from the faculty/researcher’s scope of University employment. 

The determination regarding the use of University funds or facilities and third party obligations is typically managed by the campus/Laboratory authorized licensing, contracts and grants, or comparable administrative office. For University faculty and researchers, the question of an employee’s scope of employment is initially an academic issue best addressed by the appropriate University academic manager – most often the department chair or dean – with guidance from the Office of General Counsel as necessary. 

UC does not purport to claim they own your class notes and writings or whatever is on your computer, or everything you do as a scholar, by default. But that is exactly what Gottfredson is letting Geller try to do in UO’s Article 51:

Section 10. Reservation of Rights. The University is hereby granted the right to an irrevocable, non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free license for the use of inventions, technological improvements, works of authorship, and other Intellectual Property not owned by the University but related to a bargaining unit faculty member’s fields of professional competence, unless a written document assigning that right has been executed by an authorized University official. 

But even that is not enough for UO. In article 49, they assert they own everything you store on a UO computer or network.

9/9/2013 update: Gottfredson and Geller’s process for this consulting proposal appears to violate the UO Constitution, or at least common practice of collegiality:

See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen090/COCReportFINAL3Feb10.pdf (Joint Provost- and Senate-appointed Working Group)
Conflict of Commitment Working Group
John Bonine, School of Law
Ron Bramhall, Lundquist College of Business
Mike Bullis, College of Education
Moira Kiltie, Office of Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies
Robert Z. Melnick, Department of Landscape Architecture (chair)
Larry Singell, College of Arts and Sciences
Christine Theodoropoulos, Department of Architecture
Lisa Wolverton, Department of History
“…the working group met a number of times in spring and fall terms 2009, examined existing policies relevant to the issue (UO Policy Statement 3.095 and OUS Internal Management Directive [IMD] 4.015), consulted with the General Counsel, and reviewed examples of conflict of commitment (COC) policies from other academic institutions across the country.”
Recommended policies and comments
“…required reporting from all faculty members is neither appropriate nor necessary.”
“…activities performed on personal time are exempt from regulation unless they pose potential conflicts of interest or conflict with the proper discharge of University responsibilities. (See: UO PP 3.095 and IMD 4.015).”
“…conflicts of commitment are best resolved at the most local level and encourage individual units to develop a process and interpretations to implement this policy.”
“…. It should be left to individual units to define “one day per week apart from personal time” more specifically, as necessary or appropriate, within the accepted norms of the various fields and disciplines. This recommendation is consistent with our interpretation of the rule after consultation with General Counsel.”
(No policy subsequently proposed by the Office of Academic Affairs in consultation with the Senate to carry out the recommendations.  So instead, General Counsel now ignores the shared governance process and tries to ram in a Big Brother/”we own you” policy through collective bargaining.

Surely Geller did not bother to tell Gottfredson of this history and how he was going behind the back of the Senate’s and Office of Academic Affairs’ previous work on this.

Daily Emerald editor fought for freedom of the press. UO, not so much

8/26/2013: An amazing story in the Oregon Quarterly by UO journalism graduate Elisabeth Kramer, on 1966 ODE Editor Annette Buchanan and her role in creating Oregon’s shield law, which protects journalists and their sources.

All over a story about pot smoking on campus. How far have we slid back in terms of freedom? This spring UO imposed a new policy that allows the athletic department to randomly test its athletes for pot use, and take away their scholarships if they fail even one test. And last summer UO General Counsel Randy Geller sent a veiled threat to Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC Chair Brian McWhorter for complaining about how he tried to do it in the dark, and to me for publishing information criticizing him and the process:

Dear Rob and Brian:

I received your email of July 24, 2012, requesting a delay in the public hearing scheduled for August 23rd, 2012. The hearing will be rescheduled for September 13, 2012. Written comments will be accepted until noon on September 14, 2012. We will similarly postpone the date the rule will be filed with the Secretary of State and become final. The rule will be filed on September 21, 2012.

Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon

From what I can tell Geller faced no consequences from President Gottfredson for this.

And UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer hasn’t been shy about getting the Emerald to retract things. From a post here back in Feb 2013:

Last year Frohnmayer took umbrage over Oregon Daily Emerald publishing this story about the Oregon SPJ giving me their “First Freedom” Award. Apparently at the insistence of his lawyers, the ODE website later posted a “clarification“:

In the article, we paraphrased UO Matters’ Bill Harbaugh saying “former University president Dave Frohnmayer was proposing pay cuts for faculty and Harbaugh found public records showing he had negotiated a big raise for himself with Chancellor Pernsteiner not long before.” Documents provided to the Emerald indicate that while Frohnmayer did get a raise, it was nine months before he asked the faculty to take cuts and months before a serious economic downturn. 

Additionally, while he was asking staff to take paycuts, Frohnmayer himself took a 7.6 percent paycut, the largest of any administrator.

I’m a little puzzled by Frohnmayer’s math. If you pull the unclassified salary reports at ir.uoregon.edu you get this for him:
February 2009: (before furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100% expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100% supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100% recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay) 

May 2009: (after furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 92%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100%, expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100%, supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100%, recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay)  

August 2009 

$245,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president emeritus

So, if you include all the various pots of salary he was getting, he took a furlough cut from $37,080 a month to $35,575, or about 4% per month, for about three months. Call it about 1% for the year. His furlough plea was for faculty and OA’s to take 5% cuts.
I’m also a little confused by Frohnmayer’s dates. He did get one big raise from Pernsteiner in 2008, and that was indeed before the furlough scheme, as his clarification indicates. But his retirement contract also included a very nice raise, however you calculate it. And many other special emoluments as well. 
So, was Frohnmayer really negotiating with Pernsteiner for a nice retirement deal for himself at the same time he was trying to persuade the rest of us to take 5% furlough pay cuts? It sure looks that way to me. His contract is here. The Oregon Audits Division report on it is here. The furlough town hall was 4/14/2009, video of Frohnmayer pitching the furloughs to the faculty and OA’s is here. And here’s an email from OUS chief lawyer Ryan Hagemann, saying Frohnmayer’s contract had not been finalized as of 4/29/2009:
From: “Hagemann, Ryan” <Ryan_Hagemann@ous.edu>
Subject: Public Records Requests
Date: April 24, 2009 11:16:29 AM PDT
To: “Bill Harbaugh” <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>

Professor Harbaugh:
I have returned from the road, and am in receipt of your two public records requests.  Generally, you have requested President Frohnmayers post-presidential agreements and the contract, and other agreements, for incoming President Larivere.  For your information, Professor Harbaugh, to my knowledge, neither of these agreements have been finalized.  I have a proposal for your consideration:  if you would be willing to withdraw these two requests, I would be willing, when I receive these finalized agreements in my office, to forward them to you at no cost.  That way, you would not need to make a new public records request; Id just forward to you when I receive. 
Would that work?  If not, I would be more than happy to process your request and get you an acknowledgement letter!
Thanks for your consideration,
Ryan
R y a n   J a m e s   H a g e m a n n
Legal Counsel & Secretary to the Board
Oregon University System

After I raised questions about the legality of this $245,700 emeritus contract UO renegotiated it according to the standard rues, leaving Frohnmayer at $201K with an 0.5 FTE and with fully specified teaching and research responsibilities. Saved UO a good $145K, that did. Contracts here.

1/27/2013. It’s starting to seem like a movement. They even call out Frohnmayer, when discussing Kitzhaber’s plans to cap the COLA:

A number of prominent Oregonians found themselves the subjects of unwanted attention when Kroger raised the curtain two years ago. Among them was former University of Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti, who received the biggest PERS pension of them all — $41,342 a month. No. 4 on the list was Steve Goldschmidt, who represented the Eugene School District during a 1987 teachers’ strike, whose monthly check was $21,517. Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer came in at No. 5, with $21,207.

From what I can tell from the UO salary data, we’re also paying Dave $100,514 a year for co-teaching 2 small classes on “leadership”, with his former special assistant Barbara West – not sure what she gets. Also can’t find any evidence that the Senate Curriculum Committee ever approved his courses. He also teaches a week long one credit pass/fail course in the law school – so he’s a “law professor” when he’s outsoliciting clients for HLGR. To top it off he got a lot of deferred compensation from UO, so the PERS number is an underreport of his total state paid retirement income. Contracts here. OK, I’m done with this rant for a while, sorry.

Help UO Matters find out who checks Rudnick’s UO billings

8/14/2013 update: Finally got one page from Geller’s office on HLGR billing issues, in which Rudnick’s firm promises to be more vigilant in the future.


6/23/2013. Surely someone in Randy Geller’s GC office has responsibility for looking over the billable hours, checking productivity, asking questions about the inevitable little mistakes that creep into the invoices, which now must total pretty close to $500K. But more than 6 weeks after I made the public records request below, Geller’s office still won’t even release the name of the person in charge of this.

6/4/2013:

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: public records request, HLGR billing auditsDate: June 4, 2013 3:31:36 AM GMT+03:00
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Randy Geller <rgeller@uoregon.edu>, doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, “pmkauf@uoregon.edu Kaufmann” <pmkauf@uoregon.edu>, jcohalan@uoregon.edu, “ahatch@uoregon.edu Hatch” <ahatch@uoregon.edu>, jsalmon@uoregon.edu, Ryan Hagemann <ryan_hagemann@ous.edu>, Michael Dembrow <rep.michaeldembrow@state.or.us> 

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request to the University of Oregon for any documents showing

a) who in the UO General Counsel’s office is responsible for monitoring invoices and billings by the HLGR firm, regarding the faculty unionization drive and contract negotiations, and 

b) any audits done by the UO General Counsel’s office, and any documents showing questions about rates, expenses, work effort, time-keeping or other similar issues, and their resolution, for invoices submitted for this work by HLGR.
This request covers the period from 9/1/2011 to the present. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest, as demonstrated by the substantial public funds involved and by the fact that this matter is relevant to Oregon HB 3342, regarding the use of state funds to hire outside attorneys and consultants during union organizing drives, introduced by Rep. Michael Dembrow in the legislature this year.

6/21/2013:

Dear Ms Thorton: 

I have not received any response to this public records request, sent to your office more than 2 weeks ago. I would appreciate it you could let me know when I can expect a response. 

6/25/2013: Still nothing, time to petition the DA’s Office:

Dear Ms. Perlow: 

I made the public records request below to UO 3 weeks ago. I haven’t received any substantive response.  

This is a petition asking the DA’s office to treat this delay as a denial, and to order UO to produce the requested public records without further delay.

Later that day, Ms Thornton replies:

06/25/2013
Dear Mr. Harbaugh:  

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “a) who in the UO General Counsel’s office is responsible for monitoring invoices and billings by the HLGR firm, regarding the faculty unionization drive and contract negotiations, and b) any audits done by the UO General Counsel’s office, and any documents showing questions about rates, expenses, work effort, time-keeping or other similar issues, and their resolution, for invoices submitted for this work by HLGR. This request covers the period from 9/1/2011 to the present” on 06/04/2013, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $322.12. 

6/25/2013: Dave Hubin and Ms Thornton have said at several meetings that their office will work with requestors to get searches down under one hour, since those are free, and that she tries to respond to emails w/in 24 hours. So let’s try it:

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>Subject: Re: Public Records Request 2013-PRR-293Date: June 25, 2013 2:31:34 PM PDT
To: “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: PERLOW Patty <Patty.PERLOW@CO.Lane.OR.US> 

Hi Lisa, how much will you charge for part a of this request?

7/3/2013: Eight days later, still no response, so I try:

Dear Ms Thornton: 

At the recent Senate STC meeting Dave Hubin said that you routinely worked with requestors to get requests in under the one hour time limit for a fee-waiver. You’ve said the same at PR AAG meetings. 

I’d appreciate it if you could respond to my question below regarding part a) of this request, and also let me know if I could get some subset of the documents in part b) under the hour limit – perhaps just the documents showing billing audits or monitoring from, say, 7/1/2012 to the present?

7/5/2013: Ten days now with no response. I try:

Hi Lisa, can you let me know if you are not going to reply to the email below? It’s now been more than 2 weeks (OK, it was 10) since I first asked for help with reducing the scope of the request.

7/12/2013, she’s working on it. 

Dear Mr. Harbaugh-

The office is working on an estimate for part a) of your request.

The office is unaware of a way to provide you with a subset of the documents requested in part b) of your request under the hour limit.  However, you are welcome to submit a new public records request for the documents you suggest below. 

7/18/2013: Dave Hubin has told me that Thornton does the best she can, but it’s a real problem working with Geller’s office, and she does not control his fee estimates or delays. So I try:

 Hi Ms Thornton –  

Any progress on this estimate? It’s seems like a simple request, really I just need a name from the General Counsel’s office. But’s its now been more than 3 weeks. 

Is the hold-up in Randy Geller’s office?

7/24/2013:  Still no response. Fifty days since the original request and I still can’t even an estimate on the cost of getting the name of the person in Geller’s office who is in charge of monitoring the bills from Sharon Rudnick, which are now approaching $750K.

Anyone got any suggestions on what to try next?

Ducks now more transparent than Johnson Hall

8/7/2013: Want to get a copy of the Duck game contracts? Less than 24 hours turnaround, and no fee:

Nicholls State Game Contract
Requester: Stites, Sam
Organization: Register Guard
Initial Request Date: 08/06/2013Status: Records Provided
Request Completion Date: 08/06/2013
a request for the “football game contract” or other similar document or documents between the University of Oregon and Nicholls State for the game scheduled August 31, 2013, that includes the terms and conditions, compensation, officials and telecast agreement for the game.

Want to get a copy of the contracts and job descriptions for Lorraine Davis and Jim Bean? It’ll take weeks. Want to find out how/if Randy Geller’s office is auditing the $100,000’s in HLGR invoices? All told I’ve now been waiting 2 months for info on this. What are they hiding?

Dear Ms Thornton and Mr. Geller: 

Thank your for the response below. 

It seems entirely unreasonable for UO to charge $322.12 just to release the name of the person in Randy Geller’s office that is responsible for monitoring HLGR invoices, though after 50 days on this one request, I do get the idea that it must be a sensitive question. 

So, please just send me the most recent public record that is responsive to my 6/4/2013 request for  

“any audits done by the UO General Counsel’s office, and any documents showing questions about rates, expenses, work effort, time-keeping or other similar issues, and their resolution, for invoices submitted for this work by HLGR.” 

Surely that can’t take more than an hour.

Update: Gottfredson gets Geller to move on Rudnick invoices

8/1/2013 update: That was back in April, for the Jan, Feb and March invoices.

Now UO is stonewalling again. Almost 2 months since I asked Dave Hubin and Randy Geller for the April, May, and June invoices for Rudnick, and the other firms advising the admin bargaining team. The DOJ PR manual says 2 weeks, start to finish, is a reasonable time to wait for the documents. It took more than a month just to get an estimate from UO. I paid the $214.50 2 weeks ago – thanks for your contributions. No documents yet, and no response to follow up emails. So I’ve filed another petition with Lane County DA Alex Gardner’s office:

It has now been more than 7 weeks since I made this public records request, and 2 weeks since I paid the fee requested by UO’s Public Records Office. 

I have not received any documents. UO PR Officer Lisa Thornton, her supervisor Dave Hubin, and UO General Counsel Randy Geller have not responded to follow up emails. The 7/2 response from UO’s PR office denies my fee waiver request, but does not explain why. 

Therefore this is a petition to Lane County DA Alex Gardner, asking that he
a) treat this delay as a denial and order UO to produce these invoices without further delay, and  

b) order UO to provide an explanation for their fee waiver denial that is consistent with the requirement of Oregon’s public records law.

4/11/2013: After the Bellotti affair it really shouldn’t be necessary to hassle the UO President about getting his general counsel to obey Oregon’s public records law. But apparently it is.

20 days and $300 after making the request, and 8 hours after sending the email below, I finally got the rather erratically redacted invoices showing how much UO has paid Dave Frohnmayer’s HLGR firm to negotiate with the UO faculty union. Full dump here – if you see anything interesting let me know. More on this later, but here’s a snippet from the hefty January bill. Looks like Dave’s giving us a discount from his usual $550 rate:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: Fwd: fee for HLGR invoices
Date: April 11, 2013 9:24:53 AM PDT
To: Michael Gottfredson
Cc: Randy Geller , doug park , Kron Michael Michael C , PERLOW Patty , Sharon Rudnick , Robert Kyr , Margaret Paris
Dear President Gottfredson:
I’m writing to ask you to direct your General Counsel’s office to quickly produce the invoices for the law firms advising your administration on union bargaining. As you can see from the email below, I requested the documents more than two weeks ago, and I promptly paid the $300 fee. 
UO’s public records office was originally established by President Lariviere with direct reporting to him, after the previous General Counsel got in trouble for not responding to requests. Lariviere noted the obvious conflict of interest in giving the General Counsel’s office the ability to delay responses to public records requests that involved its own activities. The GC’s delays in responding to public records requests  about the Bellotti contracts ultimately cost UO a lot of money and credibility.
I think this is an example of the same sort of thing happening again. I ask that you instruct your GC to fill this request promptly, and that you establish procedures ensuring that the Public Records Office has sufficient power to avoid future instances of these delaying tactics.
Thanks,
Bill Harbaugh

Gottfredson paid Rudnick $272,000 for April, May and June?

7/27/2013: Plus another $56,000 to the San Fran anti-union firm, Curiale, Hirschfeld and Kraemer. Or that’s the rumor tonight around the faculty club BBQ pit. I don’t believe all the HLGR money is for bargaining, part of it must be for some lawsuit Geller isn’t competent to deal with in-house.

But I’m not betting my ribs on that until I see the invoices. Which I asked for a month ago, waited weeks for the estimate, and paid Hubin $214 bucks for last Th. Now Dave won’t answer my emails.

So what is President Gottfredson willing to release public records about? 24 hours turnaround for the porta-potty data. No, I don’t mean Jim Bean’s new contract, still waiting for that, and now almost 2 months to see an audit from Geller’s office of the Rudnick billings. Sorry, but I can’t make this shit up:

Rudnick, Gary, and Geller respond to ethics allegations

7/5/2013: My complaint to the bar is here, the Jaquiss story is here, Rudnick and Gary’s retraction demand over the headline is here. In response I’ve changed the headline on the post to more accurately reflect the facts: “Bar investigates Rudnick, Gary and Geller for allegations of lack of candor with the tribunal, in an attempt to pad legal fees”.


The responses from Geller’s attorney Bradley Tellam and Rudnick and Gary’s attorney Arden Olsen are here. An excerpt from Tellam:
Actually, Geller’s declaration to the court had plenty to do with HLGR’s hourly rates. He had recently signed a contract with HLGR for billing rates that were as little of half of what HLGR were arguing that state taxpayers should have to pay the same HLGR attorney’s for the public records case, and he’d have to have been pretty clueless to not understand that his affidavit would be used by Gary and Rudnick as support for their attempt to convince the judge to then double those higher rates.
An excerpt from Olsen:
He seems particularly upset about the fact that HLGR’s efforts to get $860K in public funds are being publicly discussed here and by Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week. I’m no literature professor, but I think they call that irony. My response to the Bar is due Tuesday, comments and suggestions welcome.

Bar investigates Rudnick, Gary and Geller for allegations of lack of candor with the tribunal, in an attempt to pad legal fees

7/1/2013 retraction, per ORS 31.120
The original headline on this post, on 6/10/2013, was “Bar investigates Rudnick, Geller and Gary for alleged bill padding.”
On 6/20/2013 I received a retraction demand from Ms Rudnick and Mr. Gary per ORS 31.120, which gives news organizations 2 weeks to retract allegedly false and defamatory statements, before they can be sued for defamation. They wrote:

Every day for the past week, you have published information concerning your defamatory statements on your blogspot under a headline saying “Bar Investigates Rudnick, Gellar[sic] and Gary For Alleged Bill Padding.” [Emphasis added.] This headline is itself false and defamatory. The frivolous complaint that you filed with the Oregon State Bar does not allege “bill padding.” Because this headline is republished on Google and other search engines the republications of your original defamatory claim that we committed perjury and your subsequent deliberate misstatement of the nature of your complaint threatens to cause us and the law firm with which we are associated to suffer irreparable harm to our professional reputations.

Pursuant to ORS 31.120 we hereby demand that you publish a retraction of your false and defamatory statements concerning us as provided in ORS 31.215.

(Full letter below). The ethics complaint to the bar which they refer to stated, in paragraph 2:

In brief, I believe that Mr. Gary, Ms Rudnick, and Mr. Geller may have violated the ethics requirement for “candor with the tribunal”, in an attempt to pad the legal fees HLGR was trying to get from the state of Oregon as the result of a public records case, and that Mr. Geller may have violated rules regarding conflicts of interest stemming from his support for this effort, and may have used his public office to try and delay or prevent release of public records related to it.

Ms Rudnick and Mr. Gary argued that my headline summarization of “alleged bill padding” was not factually accurate, given that my complaint does not accuse them of bill padding per se, but rather of a lack of “candor with the tribunal”, in an attempt to pad their legal fees.

My headline was not factually supported, I retract it, and I regret publishing it.


6/19/2013 takedown update: 

The good news: UO’s attorney’s at HLGR finally admit that UO Matters is news media. This will certainly help me argue for public interest fee-waivers. I’m no law professor, but it also seems that they agree I’m protected under ORS 31.150, Oregon’s law regarding “Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation”, which Randy Geller has argued in the past is not true. The law firm of Davis, Wright and Tremaine has information on this law here.

The bad news: They’ve sent me a “take-down” notice demanding a retraction of this post, particularly the headline. Under Oregon defamation law (ORS 31.120) plaintiffs can’t recover damages against news media unless they first request a retraction. ORS 31.125 explains the rules:

The correction or retraction shall consist of a statement by the publisher substantially to the effect that the defamatory statements previously made are not factually supported and that the publisher regrets the original publication thereof.

I’ll have a response to Ms Rudnick and Mr. Gary’s letter after due consideration. Meanwhile, comments are welcome. Full text here:


6/12/2013 update. I’m not the only person who’s unhappy with what Rudnick and Gary charged the taxpayers. Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum appealed the $550,000 in HLGR billings to the Oregon Court of Appeals back in July 2012 – apparently one of her first official acts – and it’s still in court. More docs soon:


6/10/2013. Nigel Jaquiss has a detailed story in Willamette Week, here, with brief responses from Geller and Gary.

It’s only tangentially related to the bills Rudnick and HLGR have submitted to UO for legal work involving the faculty union, here, which are probably close to $500K by now.

Elevator version?

  • Sharon Rudnick of HLGR got UO lawyer Randy Geller to go along with a plan to try and make taxpayers pay $860K in billings for a public records case related to the Mark Long / Cylvia Hayes energy consulting scandal. 
  • The Oregon Bar Association is now investigating allegations that Rudnick exaggerated HLGR’s rates when the judge was determining how much taxpayers would have to pay the firm, 
  • that Geller was less than completely forthcoming about HLGR’s contracts with UO when he submitted an affidavit in support of the $860K figure, 
  • and that given his conflicts of interest he probably shouldn’t have been the one setting UO’s public records fees and doing the redactions on the HLGR invoices for work billed to UO.

My ethics complaint to the bar is here, the affidavits from Rudnick, Geller, and Bill Gary are here (big file) and the letter from the bar’s Assistant General Counsel Chris Mullman giving them until 6/20/2013 to respond to the initial intake query is here.

More on how UO came to hire Rudnick and HLGR here, more on Mr. Geller’s fury over John Kroger’s investigation of UO’s general counsel’s office and Geller’s August 2012 appointment of Melinda Grier as UO GC Emeritus (sic) here, and more on his past problems following public records law here.

Fact check update: My bar complaint states that the Frohnmayer/Gary bar ethics complaint against DOJ attorney Sean Riddell led to sanctions against him. Actually, the bar dismissed their complaint in Sept. 2012, finding he had made no violations of the bar’s rules of professional conduct. My apologies to Mr. Riddell for the error.

Bargaining XXIV: Any leftovers for the faculty? Nope.

Tuesday 6/4/2013, 8-12 AM, Room 122 Knight Library, open to the public and reporters, free coffee and donuts.

Live-Blog disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too polite to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. Check out Luebke’s facebook blog too, here.

Latest Fact Check:

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. My post from Session XXIII came through squeaky clean.

Synopsis:

  • Moffitt finds another 0.5% for the faculty.

Prologue:

The administration is expected to present their counter-counter-counter-counter on raises. Last month the union and the administration were about $7M apart – 15% versus 10%. After bringing in another $29M in tuition revenue this year, Jamie Moffitt is still piling on reserves to prepare for tornadoes. The OUS F&A committee just voted to recommend UO raise tuition ~6% next year, which should bring another $15M(?) or so. Plenty in the academic budget to cover top JH priorities such as the new cop car fleet, Portland subsidies and administrative sabbaticals, the $350K presidential sky-box suite at Autzen, and potential bowl-game junkets (or NCAA penalties). Come by and see if there are any leftovers for the faculty!

Live Blog: The usuals:

Doug Blandy
Sharon Rudnick
Tim Gleason

Rudnick starts w/ strike, lockout, Art 36:
Union wants a clause allowing faculty w/ strongly held ethical views to not do work of strikers, say if SEIU goes out. Cecil: Of course you’d pay the scabs? Rudnick: Of course. Mauer: You’re suggesting faculty might even have to participate in hiring scabs? Rudnick: We prefer to call them “replacement workers.” Mauer: What would admins do? Rudnick: I imagine it would be all hands on deck. We might even require Bean to teach! Just kidding. Cecil: And if faculty don’t agree they’d be subject to discipline? Discipline? Gleason looks up from his ipad, smiling. Davidson: If this went to arbitration they’d ask if you agreed that an ethical refusal to cross a picket line was reasonable. Rudnick: It’s not reasonable.

Drugs and Alcohol:
Rudnick: We are willing to let faculty have a beer with students after a seminar. It’s even OK if you spill it and smell like beer. But you can’t display and articulable effect on performance. “Dave was giggling. You know what I mean.” If you do, we can test you. Mauer: Suppose the test is positive? Rudnick: Then you take it from there. Cecil: What’s the problem you are trying to address? Rudnick: Several times a year we get reports of faculty acting like they’re under the influence around students or in their office. Bramhall: So, positive test could lead to LOP, referral to EAP. Rudnick: We could say you can’t go back to the classroom, have to work in JH as an administrator. Gleason: Lots of employees, it’s a given that some have substance abuse problems. Cecil: It would have been helpful if you’d started with that, instead of crafting language and providing examples aimed at dinner drinks and wasting 5 months of our time. Rudnick: Point taken, but billable hours are not wasted time.

Economic proposals:

Original admin proposal was 5%, union counter was 18%

Admin’s previous counter:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, No equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, No equity.
No money for floors, but a committee to set them?
No change in promotion raises.

So, basically 10%.

Union’s most recent –
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 9/16/2012.
2014: 3% ATB, 2% Merit, 2.5% Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Equity.
2014: 3% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
10% raises for promotions.
So, basically 15%.
Today’s admin counter:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013, only on base salary.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, No Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, No Equity.
2014: 1% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
6% raises for NTTF promotions, 8% for TTF. Close to current practice.
Separate pools for TTF’s and NTTF’s.
So, basically 10.5%.
Cecil: Why did you reject our argument for paying 1.5% retro for the full year, given Moffitt’s bloated reserves? Rudnick: Our intent was not to pay you money, it was to increase your base salary. Cecil: We’re only talking about $300K. Rudnick: I can’t give you an answer.

Back and forth on merit, review policies.

Mauer: Where did you get the money for floors? Rudnick: Oh, I don’t know. Mauer: You found extra money? Rudnick: You are not getting the leftovers! I don’t know why you people keep saying that. It’s a matter of shifting costs and budgeting, and we are not going to tell the faculty how we do it!

Mauer: We need to understand how you found this money, so we can help you find some more money. 

Blandy: There will be cuts in other areas, to be determined in a secret ELT meeting.

Economists show up with donuts. Yum.

Cecil: Equity and compression? Rudnick: We can’t deal with equity and compression in this first contract. We are completely abandoning the Lariviere plan. We have spent the money he had budgeted for getting you to the AAU peers on other stuff. Sorry. We are willing to accept that people with more seniority will get paid less than new faculty. Mauer: We accept individual merit differences. Our issue is the structural problem – UO’s compression problems are systemic.

Rudnick: We agree that our faculty should get paid at AAU peer levels, but UO does not have those resources, and we’ve pissed away what we do have on other stuff. You cannot ignore that fact. Of course, we can pay comparable salaries to administrators.

Cecil: So you are saying that UO’s long held goal of getting faculty salaries to peers is unreasonable? Rudnick: Yes. We don’t have the resources. Blandy: The president is committed to getting new resources, just as Dave Frohnmayer was when the 2000 Senate White paper cam out. So, wait another 13 years.

Cecil: So, catching up with comparators is no longer “Job #1”? If it is, where is your proposal? Gleason: We have to make tradeoffs. It’s quite simple. We are not going to let the faculty help set UO budgeting priorities! Rudnick: Some people just got 30% equity increases!

Green: Your spin is that you are emphasizing merit, not equity. Problem is that your merit proposal is minuscule.  5.5% will be the first merit raise since 2007. So, about 0.75 % a year for merit. We are dead last in the AAU and after this we will still be.

Davidson: We are doing fine keeping up with AAU comparators when it comes to athletics and administrative salaries. Rudnick to Blandy: You want to respond? Blandy: No.

Rudnick: We got another $29M in tuition last year, and are looking at $15M for future years. We are not going to give you any more money! But you can move these merit and ATB raise numbers around, we don’t care about that. (Wait, didn’t she just say the admin wanted to put money into merit?)

Mauer: My understanding is that you are saying that without new revenue UO cannot address the equity gap with comparators? Rudnick: No, I am not saying that! (Then she pretty much says exactly that.) You are being really unfair! Mauer: You say you are open to addressing external equity, but not willing to put any money on the table.

Cecil: Explain retention raise section – just a license for the provost to give raises whenever he wants. Why not spell out a policy? Rudnick: ? Cecil, Mauer: Why not say something about having a credible outside offer? Rudnick: What about preemptive raises? Cecil: Sure – our proposal gives the provost power to set almost any reasonable policy – what’s wrong with having it written down? Rudnick: Noted.

Art 32 sabbaticals, admin counter:

Our VP for Portland’s sabbatical deal? 60% of her $201,667 administrative salary, and from what I can tell she’s getting that for the full FY, not just 9 months. Presumably Doug Blandy and Jim Bean signed off on this?

Rudnick: We did a little research and most AAU’s give 50% for a year and 100% for a semester. So we agree to pay 100% for one quarter (up from 85% currently.) Not retroactive. We spent a lot of money on Jim Bean’s sabbatical and can’t go higher.

Art 24, Leaves:

Rudnick: We still haven’t figured out track changes in Word, sorry.

Changing the subject for a moment, I got curious about what Randy Geller is doing to monitor Sharon Rudnick’s billing, which is probably up to $420K or so by now. NYT piece on the prevalence of bill-padding here, PR request here:

Dear Ms Thornton –  

This is a public records request to the University of Oregon for any documents showing
a) who in the UO General Counsel’s office is responsible for monitoring invoices and billings by the HLGR firm, regarding the faculty unionization drive and contract negotiations, and
b) any audits done by the UO General Counsel’s office, and any documents showing questions about rates, expenses, work effort, time-keeping or other similar issues, and their resolution, for invoices submitted for this work by HLGR.
This request covers the period from 9/1/2011 to the present. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest, as demonstrated by the substantial public funds involved and by the fact that this matter is relevant to Oregon HB 3342, regarding the use of state funds to hire outside attorneys and consultants during union organizing drives, introduced by Rep. Michael Dembrow in the legislature this year.

Long back and forth about leaves, Green is on it. Gleason gets confused, Rudnick straightens him out.

11:00. I gotta go, check out Luebke’s facebook blog, here.

Are Rudnick and HLGR also writing the UO Board legislation?

5/16/2013: Presumably Randy Geller is getting competent legal advice somewhere. Frohnmayer wrote the original version. And if it’s HLGR it would help explain Rudnick’s bargaining table outbursts about keeping shared governance out of the contract. HLGR wrote the Nike tax relief bill that Kitzhaber pushed through in special session, so they’ve got Phil Knight’s trust. The legislative site on the bill is here. I’ll do some more digging, if anyone knows anything please pass it along. Meanwhile the UO Senate will hold a vote of no confidence in Mr. Geller this fall. More on that soon.

Senate Meeting, Wed 3-5PM 5/8/2013, live-blog

Knight Library Room 101, 3:00‐5:00 pm

Prologue: Be there – two key motions: 
  • Adoption of a rational Legal Representation Policy, introduced by Senate VP Margie Paris. (See here for Randy Geller’s attempt).
  • Legislation to require the administration to recoup the annual $1.8M cost of athlete-only tutoring and the $500K cost of Knight Arena land bonds from the athletic department, and require them to contribute 2% of their $90M budget towards need and merit based scholarships for regular students, introduced by Bill Harbaugh.

Synopsis:

  • Resolution to request that Gottfredson make the jocks finally start paying their bills, and start those long promised payments to UO’s academic side passes, 19-4.
  • Rational legal policy discussed, postponed til 5/22.
  • Contentious debate on changes to the Library Committee erupts into a wild brawl. President Kyr restores order with his fists.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Agenda:

1. Call to Order

1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the April 10 & 17, 2013 Senate Meetings

Approved.

2. State of the University

2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson

Salem: SB270, UO board bill. HB3120 affects general higher ed admin structure for the state. HECC (sic) takes OUS responsibilities away. In Ways and Means now. Watershed moment for UO. No change in public university mission. New governance structure is very standard. Advertises meetings to collect input from faculty – too late. Bonds for new science commons have been requested. Changes in central admin: new Advancement unit, development, external relations under Andreasen. Efficient, common to combine these. Important given new capital giving campaign. Shout-out to faculty honors, women’s softball, HHDL.

2.1.1 Questions and Comments with Response

Ahlen: Support or oppose staff on board. Gottfredson: Opposed. Allen: We don’t get paid enough to buy a seat, any ideas? Gottfredson: No. Dreiling: Will you lobby faculty or students get a vote? Gottfredson: Read my testimony to the legislature. Stahl: Will the board respect the constitution? Gottfredson: Read my previous statement to the Senate in favor of strong shared governance. Important idea, strong views. Stahl: Will you take action to defend it? Gottfredson: I think I have.

3. New Business

3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Legal Representation Policy; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect and Chair, Legal Representation Policy Review Committee

That would certainly be an improvement.

Kyr reads the motion. It spells out the GC’s responsibility to provide high quality legal assistance. Authorizes Randy to provide legal opinions about UO stuff, and hire high priced legal help from Harrang et al. New language removes Randy’s monopoly on providing legal advice to faculty, students. We have the right to seek legal advice – revolutionary. UO shall defend employees against acts of omission, including those in teaching, research, service. (Merle Weiner clause). Employees may be reimbursed for legal expenses, especially if there’s a conflict of interest.

Paris: Originally drafted by Geller’s office, would have given you the red-lined version but it’s all red. Tublitz proposed 2 amendments today, want to add these. Right to legal advice: what if Senate wants alternative, competent legal advice? Amendments allows this.

Mitchell, Harbaugh: SB242 took away DOJ’s monopoly on legal service to OUS institutions. Minor problem for some of the wording.

Lamar Wise: ASUO supports motion because it gives chance to get out from under Geller. Stahl: Hold back til we get the DOJ thing figured out. Sullivan: Geller represents the administration. If he’s defending an employee, who’s the client? Paris: Let’s go back and research this stuff. Good call. Kyr: We will make Geller show his mug at the next meeting. Meanwhile, direct questions to Paris. Postponed.

3.2 Motion (Legislation): Committee Requirements with Moderate Revisions, Slate 1 (Tenth-Year Review 2013); Robert Kyr, Senate President and Chair, Tenth-Year Review (Committee on Committees)

Kyr: Minor changes to a few committees. IAC, SBC, STC will come back for more study at 5/22 meeting. Lots of minor changes, lots of committees, people who went through all this should get a medal. But wait – FAC changes. Having been on this for a few years, I can report it has been a disaster. Don’t know if it’s working now, it’s all secret. Motion adds a few rules on TT/NTT composition. 10 TTF, 3 NTTF, 2 OA’s. Amendments about this and that. Library committee. Gottfredson bails. Scholarships. Study abroad committee. …. All passes.

3.3 Motion (Legislation): Payments from the Athletics Department for Academic Purposes; Bill Harbaugh (Economics), UO Senator

Kyr reads the motion, with what perhaps might be taken as a certain degree of enthusiasm, or at least enunciation.

Dev Sinha: Tries to take over the meeting with his own powerpoints. Kyr sends him back to his corner. Strongly disputes the motion. Kyr generously gives him 5 minutes. Sinha argues our President would have to say “Dear Mr. Knight ….”

Mechlen: Strong support as a student who has met with Mullens about similar past efforts, and got the cold shoulder. Paris: We need to make these payments a requirement. But doesn’t think the Senate should do it. Dreiling: This is not about dissing Phil Knight, it’s about holding the AD accountable, and respecting the universities overall priorities. It’s time, and we’re just the body to do it. Stahl: Why doesn’t it say “shall”? Psaki: Support this. We need to think about the cost of doing business in the AAU, not the PAC-12. Harbaugh amends to be resolution rather than legislation, saying he doesn’t want to diss the generous Phil Knight or paint Gottfredson in a corner, since he seems to be pretty good at doing that himself. Sinha: IAC meetings were not about us sitting down as colleagues… No kidding. Motion to postpone from Huaxin, rejected. Waddell: Kyr charged the IAC with dealing the motion last year. Sinha has been trying to speak for the IAC, he shouldn’t. Disappointed this has been turned into a resolution. It’s not unreasonable that after 10 years the AD should start paying their bills.

MOTION PASSES 19 to 4.

Meeting concludes, about 5:10.

Now updated with notes: Senate Meeting Wed 4/17, 3 – 5PM.

4/18/2013: Thanks very much to an anonymous correspondent for extensive notes, which I have lightly edited. Usual disclaimer applies – these are opinions about what was said or should have been said, nothing a quote unless in quotes.

Synopsis: (FWIW – I wasn’t there.)

Hard time getting a quorum of Senators. On the other hand it sounds like *none* of the responsible administrators showed. No Gottfredson, no Holmes, no Geller, no Bean. Too bad. The Senate is doing a lot of good work. Presumably that’s the reason Johnson Hall is in hiding. But of course they want us to show up at Matt Court for President Gottfredson’s “Investiture”:

Professors and other faculty members will be participating, giving them a chance to wear full academic regalia.

Well isn’t that special.

The Senate trashed Randy Geller’s Stalinist revisions to the Free Speech policy, and is sending back one more in tune with the ideals of the university where Wayne Morse once taught. Geller and Gottfredson will have to accept it or explain why not. I’m guessing they will try some passive-aggressive thing.

No solid answer from Hubin on where the administration gets the input from the faculty on budget priorities that he claimed was happening in our recent accreditation report – a report the Senate also was not consulted about.

The only time I can recall being asked about budget priorities was when Sharon Rudnick asked the union bargaining team where they wanted to cut spending. So I guess that’s the answer – Bean’s Academic Plan died in draft in 2009, Brad Shelton’s RCM model has collapsed, the administration has bailed on its responsibility to consult the faculty on priorities, the Senate has done nothing about it, and now the faculty union is going to take control.

Agenda:

Knight Library Room 101, 3:00‐5:00 pm
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order

3:12: meeting not yet convened for lack of a quorum;

3:13: meeting convened. Kyr calls for applause, of all things.

Minutes not yet available from 10 April. 

3:02 pm 2. State of the University
2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson

Gottfredson not available, busy with legislature and institutional boards, “which we completely understand,” so Kyr will read aloud the two announcements he sent out this morning:
first regarding Gottfredson’s opinion about faculty representation / membership on the institutional board;

next regarding “what Bill Harbaugh called a secret budget committee, which might be doing things that might run contrary to the SBC” or be “somehow in conflict with the charge of the SBC”

per Dave Hubin’s message: the Budget Advisory Group in its second year, 4 of 6 members on the SBC, “there is no secret Budget Advisory Board, it is very much above board and very much in line with the Senate Budget Committee.”

Is this supposed to be reassuring? Who is on it, what do they do? Where does the administration get input from the faculty on budget priorities? The only time I can recall being asked about this was when Sharon Rudnick asked the union bargainers where they wanted to cut spending. I guess that’s the answer – the administration has bailed on its responsibility to consult the faculty on priorities, the Senate has done nothing about it, so now the faculty union is going to take control.

3:20 pm 3. New Business
3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Conferral of Posthumous Degrees;
Robert Kyr, Senate President on behalf of Robin Holmes, Vice President
for Student Affairs


Kyr presents for Robin Holmes who can’t be here today (no doubt busy writing to faculty to ask them to move new students into dorms)

Would the Blogger write snoozer here?
Jim Boren, emeritus English professor, used to say: “If a corpse was wheeled up in front of Oregon Hall with a check pinned to its lapel, it would be granted a posthumous degree by a unanimous vote of the faculty.” I used to think it was a jibe about our chronic underfunding. Little did I know it was a matter of equal moment with our policy on academic freedom.
Psaki: what problem is this policy trying to solve? Dave Hubin tells a sad story about a student in 1994 who didn’t meet the criteria for getting a posthumous degree because he wasn’t enrolled at the time of death. They were able to work around it, but it’s been bothering them for 19 years and now they’ve fixed their policy to avoid the complicated work-around they had to implement in 1994. Whew.

 

Senator asks how many courses a student can be short and still qualify. Doxsee answers that the term “reasonably” defines this: 1-3 courses. More than that would be dicy.

Vote in favor: unanimous. Jim Boren would chortle. 

3.2 Motion (Policy Adoption): Academic Freedom & Freedom of Speech;
Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect & Chair, Academic Freedom
Review Committee

Presumably Mr. Geller will be there to defend his work, which should be interesting. It looks to me like the Senate committee handling this did a bang-up job editing the proposal from our administrative overlords:

Geller had removed “they are entitled to comment on our criticize University policies or decisions” from the original draft, and added a lot of other restrictive language. Because this free speech stuff is dangerous, and we don’t want our students getting any ideas from the faculty.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: this blog has never criticized University policies or decisions. Just administrative ones. Which makes me a little worried about this job ad:

Plumber
Campus Operations
http://jobs.uoregon.edu/classified.php?id=4575

That’s right, the president’s counsel is hiring “plumbers” to conduct “campus operations”. We know where that leads.

Notes: Seems like Geller chickened out.

Kyr reads the motion.

3:34: Margie Paris gives history of this motion: a committee in 2010 made a “very able and well-written draft” passed by the Senate and submitted to Administration. “A lot happened and it was not approved.” The GC office had “suggestions and changes” it wanted to see in the policy. When Gottfredson arrived, Kyr asked him for permission to take up the three policies—facilities, academic freedom, I forget the 3rd

The new committee started with the language that the UO Senate had approved. “This version is very close to the original language the Senate had approved.” Small committee of Paris and 3 others accepted some of the GC office’s suggestions, and discarded others. Tightened up the preamble, mentioned the mission statement of the UO.

Margie: “I didn’t realize how impt these statements are, not only in their own right but because accrediting bodies ask to see these statements.”

Adkins: asks to amend the policy to include officers of administration, who are not included in this policy but deserve this freedom as well.

“The University protects academic freedom, and Officers of Instruction, Research, and Administration [“faculty members”] shall enjoy…”

Passes unanimously.

Psaki: again, simple and uncontroversial.

Sinclair: “the freedom to teach”: does this mean anyone can walk into a classroom and teach?

Paris: No. Read the context.

Foster: Curious about the interpretation of “so long as it is clear that they are not acting or speaking on behalf of the university.” The interpretation of that can be quite wide. Nationally people have been identified as a professor, and were penalized for that. How far do you have to go to establish that you are not speaking on behalf of the university, and what does that mean anyway?

Paris: I’ve thought long and hard about this. This is a change suggested by GC. If I write an editorial, I should specify in it that I’m not speaking on behalf of the U. We have certain freedoms due to our role, and we have the responsibility to clarify when we are not speaking for the institution.

Foster: It’s actually very unusual for professors to state this. It’s usually taken for granted. Does this then apply to academic articles? TV appearances? Radio interviews? It’s actually a new requirement, and awkward. I don’t want to be seen as supporting Ward Churchill, but there have been cases where people have been disciplined for speaking their minds and identified as professors—how far does this go?

Merskin: In wrtg we often say “in my 20 years of teaching” etc. we refer to our prof. exper. to back up our point of view.

We weren’t asking for a statement everyone should make, which would restrict freedom of speech.

Kyr: a statement of intent.

Paris: there are many situations and contexts where it is quite clear that one is not speaking for the university. Where there might be ambiguity or confusion, it’s appropriate to add a statement. This would clearly not apply to research publications.

Jin: what does “to fulfill the demands of the scholarly enterprise” mean?

Paris: this is from the original draft; it’s a way of articulating both the freedom and the responsibility it entails.

Jin: What kind of scholarly enterprise? Am I free to deny requests for my syllabus from people who aren’t enrolled?

Paris: the ‘demands’ in question aren’t any demands anyone might make of you; they are the demands that are part of your job.

Motion passes unanimously. Yippee!

3.3 Motion (Legislation): Name Change from Foreign Study Programs Committee
to Study Abroad Programs Committee; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect

Passes unanimously

3.4 Motion (Legislation): Name Change from Summer Research Awards Committee to
Faculty Research Awards Committee; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect


Psaki: this was announced to me as a done deal in an e-mail dated 16 Nov. 2012, and no one ever asked me to approve this, contrary to the phrasing of the motion;

Kyr: I was told there was a committee vote, that it was done properly.

Passes 

3.5 Motion (Legislation): Term Limits for Senate Committees; Robert Kyr, Senate President
& Chair, Tenth-Year Review (Committee on Committees)


Sinclair: WHY?
Kyr: to try to increase greater participation and service across the campus; in some cases a very few were serving for a very long time. Greater service and interaction, and a more diverse body, are the goal.

Sinclair: WHY?

Sullivan: (to Sinclair) We’re thinking along the same lines. Does anyone want to do Paul Engelking’s job on the CoC? There are committees that require a long historical memory, and highly technical knowledge to run them. This may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater: people have accumulated a very arcane body of knowledge needed for the functioning of the committee, and we’re tossing that out. I’d sooner see this done by leadership—encouraging new participation and gently encouraging people to rotate off.

Kyr: that’s why there is a failsafe in 2.3, to protect against that risk. Many committees already have term limits.

Sullivan: OK.

Harinder: clarification on 2.3: who would report that exception to the Committee on Committee?

Kyr: the committees themselves. We need to get better connection bw “the committee and the Committee on Committees.” 

Vote: carried; one nay.

3.6 Motion (Legislation): Committee Requirements with Minor Revisions (Tenth-Year
Review 2013); Robert Kyr, Senate President & Chair, Tenth Year Review (Committee
on Committees)


4:09: 10 UO standing committees and their proposed “minor revisions” (the more extensive revisions will be presented May 8th);

Committee on Committees did the 10-yr review; Lisa Wolverton volunteered to read all the revisions;

Kyr reads through them one by one.

FPC: Quorum specified; increase from 10 to 12 members for FPC (Gordon Sayre endorses);

[Odd to see these revisions to 10 committees being reviewed in a single motion; apparently it will get worse in the May meeting, when the bigger changes will be voted on]

Psaki gets confused, Kyr reminds her patiently how the Committee on Committees assigns faculty to committees;

4:43 motion approved unanimously. We’re stunned with details.

3.7 Working Group Survey; Robert Kyr, Senate President

Kyr and Paris distribute a Survey of Membership Interest for the following committees or proposed working groups.

The following committee is being considered for elimination or reformation in membership or charge:

Academic Council;

these two committees were on the sheet for suggestions for names:

IAC; Senate Transparency Committee

and the following committees and boards are being proposed, also with requests for suggestions:

Senate Committees relating to Diversity and Campus Climate;

Creation of an Academic Excellence Committee;  (AGAIN? Didn’t we have two of them simultaneously under Linda Brady?); I’m thinking Doug Blandy is a natural for this one:

Creation of an Instructional Technology Committee;

Creation of a Policing Advisory Board;

Creation of a Research Council;

Grievance and Appeals Committees in Post-CBA era.

Margerum: where do we (or people we recommend) find descriptions of these committees?

Kyr: they don’t exist; they will be new, and members will help to define their charge.

4:55 pm 5. Reports

4:57 pm 6. Announcements and Communications from the Floor

“We are still breathing—there is still a pulse. Let’s give ourselves a round of applause!”
Adjourned before 5 p.m.

4:55 pm 4. Open Discussion

5:00 pm 7. Adjournment