How much has UO spent on lawyers to fight our grad students?

12/6/2014 update: New reports on legal and consulting expenses, here. Some to HLGR for GTFF bargaining, some for the UOPD union,  some for things JH really doesn’t want to attach an accounting code to:

Legal:

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Consulting:

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11/6/2014 update: I don’t know, I’m crowd-sourcing this one:

In response to questions about the total cost of the hiring HLGR for the GTFF bargaining, here are links to some public records on legal (and consulting) expenses. File dates are approximate and a mix of xls and the badly scanned pdfs Dave Hubin’s public records office sends out to make life harder, but I think I’ve got complete coverage from 2011 to the end of October. If someone wants to put together a spreadsheet for just the GTFF costs please email me a copy and I’ll post it.

2011-2013 legal billing

2013 – June 2014 legal

1/1/2013-9/15/2014 consulting and 6/1/2014-9/18/2014 legal

Sept and October 2014 legal and consulting.

(new) October 2014 legal and consulting.

(link fixed)
Here’s a sample of a detailed HLGR invoice from the faculty union bargaining, after redactions by our General Counsel’s office:

I’ve made a PR request for the September 2014 invoices, which should show more about what Rudnick, Matthews, and Grado are doing to justify the astonishingly expensive GTFF bargaining:

Subject: Re: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-092
Date: November 5, 2014 at 4:48:17 PM PST
Cc: doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

Thanks for these accounting reports.

This is a public records request for the six detailed HLGR invoices with transactions dates of 24-Sep-14.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. Because of the timeliness of issues around HLGR’s work for UO on GTFF bargaining and other issues, I would appreciate it you could expedite this request.

I’m ccing Doug Park on this request as his office has these documents and can easily make them available.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
UO Prof of Economics
http://harbaugh.org

11/5/2014: Coltrane still letting Frohnmayer’s HLGR firm rake in the billable hours

It took another petition to the Lane County DA, but at least Doug Park didn’t accuse me of harassment this time. here are the latest HLGR billing numbers. Presumably UO was sitting on these because they didn’t want the grad students to know how much Coltrane was willing to pay noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick and Jeff Matthews to bargain against them:

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Of course some of those invoices are probably for other things, like negotiating Gottfredson’s buyout, or perhaps for dealing with the rape allegation cover-up. And here are the consulting payments – looks like Huron is back:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.31.37 PM

9/26/2014: Has Coltrane fired Sharon Rudnick and Frohnmayer’s HLGR law firm?

Continue reading

UO dumps Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick for latest Ed School lawsuit

One of the more amusing parts of last year’s union bargaining was watching HLGR’s Sharon Rudnick try to get her head around intellectual property issues. The UO faculty negotiators and David Cecil (UAUO) and Mike Mauer (AAUP) did their best to give her an education while she charged UO $300 an hour, but there’s only so much teachers can do, and apparently it didn’t stick.

Diane Dietz has a summary of the latest UO Education School IP case, in the RG here. UO has taken a pass on HLGR and its team of IP attorneys, and is instead being represented by the Seattle firm of Betts, Patterson, and Mines. And it’s looking like quite the hit to Harrang’s billable hours:

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Docket info courtesy of Carl Malamud’s RECAP, here:

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

9/12/2014 update:

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Melinda Grier no longer “Of Counsel” for Hirschfeld and Kraemer

9/8/2014 update: This SF firm does anti-union work for employers and billed UO quite a bit during Berdahl and Gottfredson’s attempts to fight the faculty union. Lately they’ve turned to the presumably lucrative business of running workshops about sexual harassment and Title IX training, taught by, of all people, former UO GC Emerita Melinda Grier. A few months ago they even added Grier to the firm, as “Of Counsel”:

But now she’s been dropped. No word yet if they are still billing UO $25K or so a month:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 4.47.02 PM

6/18/2014: Melinda Grier, HLGR, Rudnick, Matthews making bank off UO legal fees

It looks like many other firms are getting some action from Randy Geller too. Here’s April and May, full dump here:

Continue reading

UO cancels legal contract with HLGR, will negotiate directly with grad students and faculty

Josephine Wollington has the story in the RG about this very unusual mid-negotiation change and the positive response from the union leadership. This is great news, Rudnick and Matthews have been an expensive disaster for UO. It seems that the new leadership wants a less confrontational approach, and isn’t going to be tied to the mistakes of the previous administration.

Oh, wait, never mind, this about the Eugene Public Schools and their negotiations with the teachers union. I guess we’ll have to wait to learn what Coltrane does about fixing the problems with UO’s General Counsel’s office and HLGR.

Gottfredson extends union benefits to OAs, but not to GTFs.

After paying noted tobacco company attorney Sharon Rudnick and her friends $1M to unsuccessfully argue “The University” couldn’t afford to give these benefits to faculty union members, Gottfredson now wants credit for giving them to the non-unionized faculty and the OAs too. His email manages to try this without once mentioning the word “union”. Classy guy.

Meanwhile, he’s still paying HLGR’s zoning and easements lawyer Jeff Matthews $300 an hour to fight parental leave for our PhD students, who say they’ll strike over it.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that I have enacted three new or expanded benefits allowing unrepresented faculty members (UFM) and officers of administration (OA) to enjoy more generous family leave benefits and receive a tuition discount for a second child who attends the UO, as well as expanding sabbatical compensation for faculty. I announced my intention to do so last October. We solicited public input about the policies this spring. These benefits took effect on July 1.

Family leave

The university provides UFMs and OAs with leave upon the birth or adoption of a child as provided by the Family Medical Leave Act and the Oregon Family Leave Act. Under the new paid family leave benefit, a UFM or OA who takes parental leave under FMLA or OFLA may take the first six work weeks of such leave with pay in the following manner:

  • After using available short term disability insurance benefits, all vacation leave and all but 80 hours of accrued sick leave, if a UFM or OA cannot cover the six weeks, the university will provide them with the necessary amount of paid parental leave to receive a total of six weeks paid parental leave.
  • Each UFM and OA may use accrued sick leave for his or her remaining six weeks of parental leave. In the event that they do not have sufficient accrued sick leave, they may borrow advanced sick leave for the remainder of the last six work weeks.

For questions or to check eligibility, contact Laurie Mills, Medical Leaves Coordinator at lmills@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2950 

Second child tuition benefit

The new second child reduced tuition benefit will allow a UFM or OA to use their staff fee privileges for a second child who takes classes at the University of Oregon. Both children must be enrolled in undergraduate programs; one eligible child may take classes at any OUS institution but the second eligible child must be enrolled at the UO.

The staff fee privilege enables eligible employees and/or dependents to take up to 12 credits per term at 30 percent of the in-state resident tuition cost.

For additional information on eligibility and forms for the staff fee privileges program, please see the Human Resources website.

Sabbatical benefit

Under the expanded sabbatical benefit, compensation will increase from 85% to 100% for a third of a year (4 month) sabbatical for UFM who are eligible to receive a sabbatical benefit. Additional lengths of leave and compensation are also available depending on the school, college, or other administrative affiliation. Represented faculty members also receive this new higher sabbatical compensation under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated last fall. For more information on sabbatical leaves please see the Academic Affairs website.

I again want to thank all the employees of the University of Oregon for all that you do to make this a premier public research university.

Regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

UO to hire faculty labor director

Update: Make that 2: http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4538

President Gottfredson blew $1M on Sharon Rudnick and her helpers. After first putting Jim Bean in charge of bargaining, he’s now paying the feckless Tim Gleason $218K a year to work on contract implementation and strategic communications about the CBA. He’s paying $122,004 to Sam Hill, a new helper lawyer for Randy Geller who is apparently getting schooled by Rudnick. And Jeff Matthews, another Harrang lawyer, is getting some ridiculous hourly rate to negotiate the GTFF contract – the first time the UO administration has ever called in outside lawyers on the grad student union.

And now he decides to hire a professional to handle the administration’s labor issues? Better late than never, I guess:

Director of Faculty Labor Relations
Academic Affairs

Posting: 13537
Location: Eugene
Closes: Open Until Filled
Title: Director of Faculty Labor Relations
Department: Academic Affairs
Reports to: Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and the Chief Human Resources Officer
Term: 1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)

Salary Range: $120,000+

Review Date: Search will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, please submit an application by February 7, 2014
Start Date: As soon as possible

General Responsibilities:

The Director of Faculty Labor Relations (DFLR) reports to the Senior Vice Provost and Chief Human Resources Officer. The person in this position is responsible for the implementation and day-to-day administration of the University’s collective bargaining agreement with United Academics, the AAUP/AFT union representing more than 1800 tenured-track and non-tenure-track faculty. The director’s activities will include: Providing collaborative and consultative advice and counsel on labor contract interpretation, application, and compliance for the university; Collaborating with peer directors and other members of the Academic Affairs and HR management team to ensure that all units working concert to provide seamless service and support to the university; Leading fact finding investigations, responding to information requests, and representing the university at arbitration, mediation, and appeal hearings; Conducting analysis and assessments, preparing reports and advisories, and recommending policies and programs that enrich and promote the integrity of the university’s faculty and labor relations functions; Keeping current in the occupational field to include new developments in concepts, practices, and regulations; Researching and analyzing the impact of changes in regulations and trends on operations.

This position demands a firm commitment to serving the University with sensitivity and professionalism. The position requires abundant self-confidence and the ability to multi-task many cases, processes, and unplanned happenings at one time. The ability to handle confidential material appropriately and maintain an institutional perspective is also critical.

University President can fire you for tweeting

That would be in Kansas. From Scott Jaschik at InsideHigherEd. The newly adopted policy of the University of Kansas Board of Regents gives their President the right to fire faculty for tweets:

The chief executive officer of a state university has the authority to suspend, dismiss or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media. “Social media” means any facility for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. “Improper use of social media” means making a communication through social media that:

… impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers, has a detrimental impact on close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary…

This all started when a KU journalism professor exercised his first amendment right to criticize people who exercise their second amendment rights. (And in fairness to KU, they don’t let people exercise their second amendment rights on campus either.)

Here in Oregon, President Gottfredson’s General Counsel Randy Geller tried to remove protection for faculty who criticize the university administration from the faculty union bargaining agreement – but failed.

Colleen Flaherty’s InsideHigherEd story from September is here and links to the Crooked Timber story are here. After a tough fight with the AAUP’s Mike Mauer, some national embarrassment for President Gottfredson, and many lucrative billable hours for UO’s lawyer Sharon Rudnick, former UO President Lariviere’s free speech policy was enshrined in the union contract:

Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.

The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.

And now President Gottfredson is working with a faculty committee from the UO Senate to further strengthen those rights. Which is good.

Bad news on future pay

9/26/2013: As near as I can tell UO has been spending about $50K a month on Sharon Rudnick and Kate Grado from HLGR to do the negotiating with the union, and another $30K or so a month for lawyers and consultants to write Barbara Altmann’s “fact check” website. That’s a lot of money for the rather pathetic FAQ they’ve posted on the union contract, here.

Ignoring their rather interesting spin on the IP, computer files, and consulting issues, there’s some astonishingly deceptive stuff comparing tuition and salary increases. They ignore the 2012-13 tuition increases, when faculty got nothing, and the fact that the legislature paid UO the difference between the 5% and 3.5% tuition increases:

Whatever. The real news is that Gottfredson has abandoned the Lariviere goal to get faculty pay to our comparators:

Q. Won’t faculty salaries remain far below our peers and AAU comparators? 

A. The salary package — which includes across-the-board raises, merit increases, promotion raises and money for tenure track and tenured faculty equity and NTTF salary floors — will move faculty salaries in the right direction. It is also important to look at total faculty compensation (salary + benefits). When benefits are included the gap closes substantially between the University and our comparator universities.

Of course, when differences in summer money etc. are added in, the gap gets wider. The bottom line is that Gottfredson just doesn’t think the UO faculty are worth more money (although he’s got a nice $360K fallback salary as a sociology professor). Compare the above with the language from Coltrane’s 2011 (draft) CAS Equity proposal:

c. Step 3 (as early as FY 2012/13 and no later than FY 2013/2014), increases based on internal equity and merit.

The total amount of funding made available for salary increases by the College in Step 3 will be at least the amount necessary to increase the College’s average salaries to make up the remaining distance to the average salaries of the OUS 8 comparators. 

 So, it’s looking like I was excessively optimistic with this forecast that we’d catch up to the AAU public average by 2021:

But hey, what about that goat! Yes, Gottfredson is throwing the faculty a bone, in the form of a few thousand in one time catch-up payments, a month or so after we sign the union contract. Here’s the math:

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.

Bargaining XXXVII: Rudnick wrap-up

Page down for live-blog, 9/3/2013. Next session Friday, I think 9AM – 4PM. Be there.

Wrap-up:

UO’s faculty union bargaining team has played President Gottfredson’s lead negotiator Sharon Rudnick like a screechy fiddle. She has insisted since March that there was no more money, beyond her initial 10.5% offer. The union has now forced her to raise it by significantly more than the 1.25% that dues will cost.

We’re not yet up to 14.5%, but the AAUP and AFT can take this on the road – deservedly – as proof that a faculty union at a research university can raise faculty salaries by more than enough to cover dues, even in the face of a determined if misguided president.

Along the way the faculty team has written the missing UO faculty handbook, which our accreditors have been telling the administration to do since 2007. They’ve secured many important protections for NTTF’s. And while Rudnick started the bargaining by threatening that it could take as long as 18 months, the union team has played her out in double-time: not even 8 months so far.
The unfortunate collateral damage from Ms Rudnick’s incompetence is President Gottfredson’s standing with the faculty. He could have proposed 14.5% in January and taken the credit, instead of the blame, and saved at least $500K in legal bills.


Today’s synopsis:

  • Over the past 5 months the union has made big economic concessions on wages, from 18.5% to 14.5%. Admin proposals stalled at 10.5% (No compounding).
  • Today we learn that Gottfredson will budge. A little. His offer is still well below Lariviere/Coltrane proposal from 2011.
  • For NTTF’s, the union proposal from last week was for 15.03%, compounded over three years. Admin came back today with 12.4%.
  • For TTF’s, union had last proposed 15%. Admin came back with 11.8%, plus a problematic increase in first post-tenure review raise amounts. This doesn’t address external equity, the focus of the Coltrane plan. And if you just had a review, you’re SOL for 5 years.
  • Admin still refuses to make 1.5% ATB for last year fully retroactive – even though AAU salaries increased 3% last year. 
  • Instead they propose a $350 “signing bonus”. Don’t laugh, you can get some good shit on craiglist for $350. I call dibs on the goat.
  • Who came up with this $350 idea? Presumably Gottfredson’s $20K a month anti-union consultants down in SF, trying to drive a wedge between the TTF’s and NTTF’s.
  • After hearing Rudnick the faculty start leaving the room, presumably to start looking for outside offers.
  • Rudnick says Gottfredson says UO can’t afford more, because of the 3.5% tuition raise cap for next year. 
  • Not true. Every 1% increase in tuition brings in ~$3M, recurring, while a 1% increase in faculty pay costs ~$1M, or a 0.33% tuition increase.
  • Admin team is even more on edge than usual but only one outburst, this time from Gleason.

Raises: The elevator version:

We’re going down. During the first year of President Gottfredson’s administration UO faculty pay has fallen still further behind other AAU public universities:

  • Full profs: down from 85% to 82% 
  • Associate profs: down from 92% to 90% 
  • Assistant profs: down from 93% to 89%

The relative drops are mostly driven by pay raises at the other AAU schools, however UO’s average pay for assistants and fulls has actually fallen, presumably because of composition changes. The retroactive 1.5% ATB raise proposed by the admin’s for 2012-13 is only for 6 months, so it’s really only a 1% raise. Sneaky. Either way it is not close to enough to make up for the ~3% UO faculty lost relative to other AAU publics between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Much less enough to get the elevator going up. And the administration has been fibbing: UO benefits don’t make up salary gap.

Background:

Their conclusion is that while both effects are at work, Bowen effects dominate in public research universities, with $2 in increases due to administrators seizing on increased revenue for every $1 in increases due to upward pressures on faculty and staff salaries from other industries. Same for private research institutions. What’s more, they find a plausible culprit within universities. They notice that cost increases are likelier when the ratio of staff to faculty is higher. That suggests that when administrators within the university accumulate bargaining power, they’re better able to force increases in costs. The administrative staff, they suggest, is what’s really driving this.

By administrative staff, they presumably mean central administrators like Jim “38%” Bean. Say Jim, any update on how much our administration is going to piss away in Portland this year? Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link. From the WaPo’s excellent “The Tuition is Too Damn High” series.

Lots of rumors flying around – and I didn’t start all of them – that the administration’s haste to wrap up bargaining is motivated in part by a desire to get the economics off the table before the latest administrative bloat data comes out:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: public records request, non-classified employees
Date: September 1, 2013 11:55:21 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: J P Monroe , jbolas@uoregon.edu, Andrea Larson , cmatese@uoregon.edu, gvenegas@uoregon.edu

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for a machine readable file in excel, comma delimited, or any other standard format showing the following information for UO non-classified employees as of 9/3/2013:

First Name, Last Name, MI, University Email Address, University Office Address, University Office Phone Area Code, University Office Phone Number, Employee Type, Academic Title, Job Type, Job Title Job Start Date, Yrs in Position, Fac Prim Activity, Home Department, Rank, Rk Date, Pay Department, Annual Salary Rate, Appt Percent Job Status, Job End Date, Appointment Status, Term of Service, EEO Type, FT/PT

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

I’m ccing a few people in the UO IR office, who should be able to easily provide these data.

The prior data on this is from the error ridden Beangrams, and the most excellent presentations of the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis. March 2013 update for UO here:

“Institutional Support” means central administration, more or less.

More background:

Rumor from the spectators at the annual faculty club ping-pong semi-finals is that Gottfredson has told Geller and Rudnick to stop their $100K a month billing frenzy and cut a deal, quick. The large faculty turnout at the Thursday meeting had its intended effect, and Rudnick’s flip-out didn’t hurt either.

Rudnick will apparently meet with Gottfredson et al at 9AM to get his instructions. As you can see from the spreadsheet below the union has already come down from 19.3% over 3 years (compounded) to 15%, and has made concessions on health, childcare, and promotion raises as well. The majority of the faculty I’ve talked with feel that if the union offer is not acceptable to Gottfredson as is, we should strike during week one.

Synopsis from session XXXVI, Thursday 8/29:

  • Practice drill for strike goes off well. ~100 faculty show up on a summer day when they’re not even on contract. News on the SEIU strike preparation in the ODE here.
  • Some chatter about discipline for Rudnick over her disrespectful treatment of faculty and library staff this morning. Does UO’s respectful workplace policy apply to $300 an hour lawyers? 
  • Union holds firm on raises, only minor concessions. Rudnick seems to have new instructions from Coltrane, sounds ready to deal.
  • After lunch, still about 60 faculty in the room. No visible support for the admin team. No Altmann, no Moffitt, no Geller, no one with any actual authority to deal. No wonder this takes forever.
  • 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 – their stenographer has been typing away all day. Latest here
  • Art 49, use of UO computers, a.k.a as the Stasi Clause. They own you.

Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts are fact-checked by Geller and Rudnick’s secret team of well paid consultants, who post their spin on the official UO Admin site, hereIf you pay Dave Hubin $285.98 he’ll even tell you who wrote it.

Proposals so far:




Live Blog:

Disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too decent, or well-paid, to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. If you don’t like my blog read Luebke’s.

12:55: Admin team filing in. ~50 faculty, kids, etc. Approaching fire code limit. Any volunteers to move Rudnick’s chair?

1:05 Rudnick: Thanks for delay, we have economic proposals and more propaganda about how we already spent your money on athletics and pet admin projects.

Art 24 Leaves, admin counter:

Rudnick: Go forth and multiply. We’ll give dual family leaves if both parents are UO employees. Admin relents on Ebenezeer clause: Officers of instruction can now leave for xmas and spring break without getting pay docked.

Art 31 Release time, admin counter:

Rudnick: Union gets 2.5 FTE for officers, extra 2.0 FTE for bargaining, and can buy course releases based on salary, OPE, admin costs, facilities use.

Mauer: Why not charge us the replacement cost? Rudnick: It’s not replacement cost. Mauer: Why not? Rudnick: blah, blah. (She’s an expert on bill padding issues, be careful here Mike.)

Art 20, Salary, admin counter:

See the spreadsheet, admin proposal is very weak.

Caucus break. Union team leaves. 

Admin’s and ~50 faculty stay. I start giving a thoughtful, fact-based discussion of the admin proposal, using the spreadsheet above, with a few illustrative examples such as:

Proposal: $350 one time signing bonus. This goes over like a lead brick. Jim Bean’s been getting $775 a month for his beamer payments:

Rudnick interrupts, saying I’ve got something wrong, but won’t answer when I ask her for details. Faculty start ripping into the admin proposal, asking her questions. She won’t answer them either.

Union team returns, tells Rudnick we’re moving this to Room 101. We do. Session restarts:

Gleason: While you were in caucus, the people in the bargaining room, including your economic consultant (me) were ridiculing this proposal. This is unacceptable, and I’m a journalism dean so I know all about that so called free-speech stuff.

Mauer: So, you want to talk about it? (I’m right there Tim. Why not send me another harassing fact check letter?)

Gleason: No.

Rudnick: Long bit about $350 being an attempt to split off the NTTF’s and divide and conquer. Gives a bit more to the lower classes. She tries to explain her math, Cecil finds a few errors.

Rudnick: No changes to your merit proposal. We cut your equity proposal for NTTF’s because of something the finance people said. Then she adds “Don’t ask me any details” and “It’s all in the details.” (Why didn’t Jamie Moffitt show up for this crucial bargaining session? Because the administration doesn’t have enough respect for the faculty to make the trip over from JH).

Cecil: 2% is not enough to get NTTF’s to $36K floor.

Rudnick: We think it is enough. But it’s all in the details and don’t ask me any details.

Promotion raises:

Rudnick: We accept the union’s 8% promotion raises for NTTFs. Currently there is no policy for this, so it’s a significant increase.

Rudnick: For CAS, post tenure review typically gets $2k or $4K, we’ll boost that to 4% or 8% in order to give more equity and merit. (Note, however, that this is only for the *first* post-tenure review after the contract is signed. Among the many problems with this proposal is its hit or miss nature: had an excellent review last year? You will wait 5 years to try again for your raise.)

Rudnick: Here’s our spreadsheet, with cost increases, estimates promotion and post tenure review increases will result in $3.5M or so in new costs. Pratt: So, these are just for first post-tenure reviews? Rudnick: Yes, because …. Pratt finishes for her: Because that would increase faculty salaries.

Why isn’t our $270K a year (plus football junkets) VPFA Jamie Moffitt here to explain this proposal?

Rudnick: This is a significant proposal. We worked very hard to try to put some significant extra money on the table. There was a very long discussion in JH this AM on how to fund this. (Uh, cut athletic subsidies and drop the $2.4M Portland White Stag lease, for starters?)

Rudnick: We hope you see this as meeting you in the middle. Oh yeah, we didn’t have time to do the compounding, check UO Matters.

Mauer: Back to floors. Pool is 2%. You don’t know if that’s enough to get NTTF’s all to $36K?

Rudnick: We’re looking at different groups individually and looking at other possible permutations on how to fairly set floors. They’ve run a bunch of scenarios. Their sense is it’s enough to get to a fair outcome.

Mauer: What if there’s money leftover? Rudnick: We’d spend it on beamers for the administration.

Braun: Can we see your scenarios? Rudnick: Starts waiving her hands, it’s back of the envelope, … It’s just somebody in accounting doing if this and that.

Braun: But it did inform your proposal? Cecil: I’ve seen assertions that admin is saying it would be unreasonable to pay RA’s $36k?

Rudnick: UO research grants are falling, less than came in last year, might lead to layoffs. Rudnick starts passing around her spreadsheet, with costs, talking about it. She shortchanged us on copies, I’ll post as soon as I get one. She babbles on.

Pissed off looking faculty start leaving the room, making calls for outside offers. 

Rudnick: Post-tenure reviews will be reviewed outside the department, by Gottfredson, before you get the 8%.

Retirement: Rudnick asks union for ideas on how to deal with the pickup. Uh, they did that already, Sharon.

In conclusion:

Rudnick: President and Provost are putting themselves on the line for this proposal. It will take reorganization, re-prioritization, maybe even cuts or postponement of hiring of new strategic communicators and brand manager hires. She was just kidding on that last part, I’m sure.

Caucus break. 

Cecil stays, gives the ~40 or so remaining faculty an impressive off the top of his head talk on bargaining, dissecting the admin proposal, comparing it with what the union is asking for.

They’re back. 6 die hard faculty observers left.

Contracts: Snoozer. And no, it’s not because it’s about the NTTF’s, it’s because Cecil and Mauer are on this. Just kick back folks, they have your back.

Wait – Blandy is going to reduce the amount of notice and pay they need to give NTTF’s. Current policy is too expensive. So, are you going to do the same for administrators, Doug?

7/31/2013: Back in July 2011 UO got in trouble with the State auditors for post-dating Frohnmayer’s retirement contracts and no bothering to specify what work he’d done for the money. Then Bean got in trouble with Davis for hiring his buddy John Moseley for an extended post-retirement gig without bothering to write a contract. Davis had to write another retroactive one while Bean was on sabbatical, and she chewed out Bean for it. Then in April 2013 Gottfredson announced Bean would “return to the faculty effective 7/1/2013” And now Bean is working for UO without a contract – if he’s still working for UO that is. From the UO Public Records Office yesterday: 

The university does not possess documents responsive to your request for “a copy of the current employment contract(s) for James C. Bean“.  The office considers this information to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request. 

My April 2012 request for docs on the unusual deals between Bean and Moseley, including the retroactive contract and Davis email, was quickly followed by Bob Berdahl’s clampdown on public records releases, which has continued under President Gottfredson. I did get the response above without having to pay a fee, but it took 11 days

Long back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick on job security, raises for NTTFs. Not a word from VPAA Doug Blandy, who is supposedly in charge of all this. Bizarre.

Q: Do all UO departments give NTTF’s the opportunity for career-track jobs?

Rudnick: Pres wants the flexibility to replace NTTF’s with TTF’s.

Cecil: So, if we come back with a proposal that says you can cut for that, but no other reasons, will you agree to it?

Rudnick: Seems to be saying no.

Next session this Friday – not sure if it starts at 9AM or 10AM.

Rudnick outbursts bring hits, t-shirt sales, laughter

8/30/2013: Thanks for all the U of Nike t-shirt purchases and google ad revenue:

I’ve almost got enough money to pay Dave Hubin’s public records office the $225.56 they want to provide info on the authors of the admin bargaining team’s harassing “open letter to Professor Harbaugh”. Please help out. Buy a U of Nike t-shirt, or make a direct contribution to the UO Matters Public Records and Lagavullin Fund, here:

Donate $5 to pay Dave Hubin’s public records fees


All contributions over $50 receive a framed copy of VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s budget projections:

Bargaining XXXVI: Rudnick violates UO respectful workplace policy?

Thursday 8/29/2013, 9am-4pm, room 122 Knight Library.

The admin team’s fact-check on this post should be quite interesting.

Lead admin negotiator and noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick violates UO Respectful Workplace Policy?


If you’d showed up you’d probably know what I’m talking about. Don’t miss the next session: Tuesday, 9/3, 10AM. Your chance to get more verbal abuse, and hear President Gottfredson’s counter-proposal on raises.

Turns out VPAA and admin bargaining team member Doug Blandy is in charge of enforcement, and if multiple, independent reports from those present at today’s exciting bargaining meeting are correct, Rudnick may have violated UO policy. Perhaps twice:

The University of Oregon is noted for its strong tradition of collegiality and support for all members of the institution. Hostile, intimidating or abusive behavior damages the strong sense of community so valued at UO. Please join us in working to ensure that each member of our community benefits from a respectful and inclusive working and learning environment. 

We recognize that the demands of our jobs and stressful challenges in our work and personal lives can occasionally lead to moments of impatience and irritability. However, we want to take this opportunity to remind you that, regardless of the provocation or reason, it is never appropriate or acceptable to vent frustrations or conduct workplace business by yelling, using profanity or acting in a demeaning or verbally abusive way.

Blandy’s email is dblandy@uoregon.edu if anyone wants to file a complaint about his co-negotiator.
Synopsis:

  • Practice drill for strike goes off well. ~100 faculty show up on a summer day when they’re not even on contract. News on the SEIU strike preparation in the ODE here.
  • Some chatter about discipline for Rudnick over her disrespectful treatment of faculty and library staff this morning. Does UO’s respectful workplace policy apply to $300 an hour lawyers? Any truth to the rumor someone caught that on a cell phone video? Email me at uomatters or just post it on youtube already.
  • Union holds firm on raises, only minor concessions. Rudnick seems to have new instructions from Coltrane, sounds ready to deal.
  • After lunch, still about 60 faculty in the room. No visible support for the admin team. No Altmann, no Moffitt, no Geller, no one with any actual authority to deal. No wonder this takes forever.
  • 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 – their stenographer has been typing away all day. Latest here
  • Art 49, use of UO computers, a.k.a as the Stasi Clause. They own you.

Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts are fact-checked by Geller and Rudnick’s secret team of well paid consultants, who post their spin on the official UO Admin site, here. If you pay Dave Hubin $285.98 he’ll even tell you who wrote it.

Disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too decent, or well-paid, to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. If you don’t like my blog read Luebke’s.


The faculty union needs you to show up at this session for as long as you can.
The union team will put its latest counter to Gottfredson and Coltrane’s 3.5% a year proposal on the table. Check out the data by rank and department. You are a long, long way from the Lariviere targets, and 3.5% a year is not going to cut it.

If you want to get a real raise, you need to show up and help put on the pressure. Word is that the much maligned part-time yoga instructors will be there to help out with stress reduction during the caucus breaks. Bring your mat, and be prepared to chant.

Raises: The elevator version:
We’re going down. During the first year of President Gottfredson’s administration UO faculty pay has fallen still further behind other AAU public universities:
  • Full profs: down from 85% to 82% 
  • Associate profs: down from 92% to 90% 
  • Assistant profs: down from 93% to 89%
The relative drops are mostly driven by pay raises at the other AAU schools, however UO’s average pay for assistants and fulls has actually fallen, presumably because of composition changes. The retroactive 1.5% ATB raise proposed by the admin’s for 2012-13 is only for 6 months, so it’s really only a 1% raise. Sneaky. Either way it is not close to enough to make up for the ~3% UO faculty lost relative to other AAU publics between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Much less enough to get the elevator going up. And the administration has been fibbing: UO benefits don’t make up salary gap.

Prologue: 


Live-blog:

9:04. Looks like 50 people so far. Rudnick is telling the faculty they can’t sit behind the admins – don’t want us seeing the transcripts they are taking down.

Admins walk out looking pissed. Cecil lays down the rules: It’s the library: whisper. No eye-rolls, those really drive Rudnick batty.

9:22: They’re back. Blandy, Rudnick, Gleason, Grado, stenographer.

Mauer: Let’s review. Here we are on progress and tasks needed. Our view is we can use this session and the 2 next week to get a final agreement. We need:

1) Work to do: IP – big disagreements. Workload, career paths, job security. We think we can both make reasonable compromises.

2) More difficult: Governance. We’ve had the Senate, but faculty have now voted to also be represented by UA. What led to that was an unfortunate history, not your fault. Admin believed faculty were not constructive on admin matters, faculty thought admin was incompetent. Key to success is to *not* supplant Senate, but to provide support for its role. Admin sees union as distinct, not as a partner with the existing forms of shared governance. (Too true – see Gottfredson’s rejection of Senate vote to get union support for constiution.) For nomenclature, faculty see themselves as the heart of the university. The faculty are dealing with the university administration – not The University. Nomenclature is not a game stopper, but it’s symptomatic of problems in your approach.

Librarian enters and says there are so many people it’s a fire code violation. She sends us to Room 101. Rudnick says this not consistent with ground rules, but OK.

101 is a great room, Senate meeting room. The faculty march in and fill it up. Very comfy:

But Rudnick is out in the hall telling Mauer “I am not going to bargain in a classroom. This is not acceptable. There are rules!” Say, where are the administration’s supporters?

Cecil calls a caucus: Mauer tells faculty what Rudnick said. Faculty member says “So, she wants us to take this outside?” Mauer gives him a stern look, tells us there will be decorum, goes back out in the hall to work his magic on Rudnick.

Are the admins going to use a big show of faculty support for the union to close down bargaining? That’s not what’s recommended in Frohnmayer’s “Negotiating for Dummies” guide:

Mauer comes back in, after a frank and open discussion with Rudnick. He told her the faculty came to see bargaining. (And practice for a strike?) A junior faculty member asks why Rudnick yelled at him when he tried to help move chairs. Says he’s never seen that sort of nasty intimidation. I’m guessing it’s his first session with Rudnick.

10:07: Rudnick and her dispirited looking junior admins file back in. “We need power. Where are the outlets?”

Mauer: “Now you understand the problem of having to switch classroom in the middle of a session”.

Mauer:

3) We have counter-proposals for all the economic proposals. You’ve said repeatedly that you’ve already spent the faculty’s money. We’ve made some compromises, here they are.

Art 20: Salary: (See spreadsheet above for details.)

New proposal cuts promotion raises from 10% to 8%. Keeps 3% pool for NTTF floors – unacceptable that a full time university instructor would make less than $36K.

Rudnick says “I’m chuckling about you saying you’d be happy for us to pay you more.” A $300 an hour lawyer without a clue. The crowd is stone cold silent.

Mauer: I’d now like to give you the rest of our economic proposals and then have discussion. Rudnick: OK.

Art 21: Fringe Benefits:

Mauer: We’ve dropped the child care benefits in an effort to reach an agreement. Rudnick: So we’re in agreement except for the part where you call us “The University of Nike Administration” instead of the “The University”. Mauer: Yup.

Art 22: Health Insurance:

Mauer: We’ve dropped request for a $1M fund to help get benefits for part-timers. We dropped this in order to focus on salary issues.

About 100 faculty in the room. No admin supporters are noticeable. Blandy and Gleason still haven’t spoken.

Art 23: Retirement Benefits:

Mauer: Nothing new here, we can’t do much about PERS. We are concerned about threats that UO might drop the 6% pickup. Other bargaining agreements specify that if this happens employees will be made whole. We won’t agree to less of a commitment from UO, unless you can give a coherent explanation for why we should.

Rudnick: That’s it? I’ll respond. For the 6%, admin would agree to shift it to salary if possible. But if legislation prohibits the pickup and takes money away from UO (come on, how much money does the state give us now?) we can’t agree to make you whole. We want you peons to face the risk, rather than have the university bear it, for example by perhaps having to cut Jim Bean’s sinecure, or cut back on athletic subsidies. That would be too much for JH to bear.

Mauer patiently explains optimal risk-sharing theory to Rudnick. Blandy looks interested, Gleason has his head down, reading UO Matters. Rudnick doesn’t understand risk-sharing. (There are two possible states of the world …).

Cecil starts running circles around Rudnick, giggles from the crowd. So why can other Oregon universities manage to make this commitment to their faculty, but not UO?

Rudnick starts trotting out $8M cost figure. That’s less than 1% of the UO budget.

Gleason speaks: It’s not like we’re going to put this money in our pocket! Sure Tim. What’s Bean getting paid? And the beamer? How much has the admin wasted on Bend and now Portland? How much in pursuit of their other pet projects? Athletic subsidies? Paying the Matt Court land bonds…

Green and Rudnick have a productive conversation. Turns out the language does not apply to ORP people – got to check that out closely.

Rudnick’s basic argument is that individual faculty are better prepared to bear the risk of having to pay the pickup cost than UO, currently sitting on ~$150M in reserves. It’s a stupid argument, but it’s hers and she just loves repeating it. Which is really dumb, because the more she says it, the more people in the room start understanding how wacky it is.

Mauer: We agree this may or may not come to pass. If it does, recall that the health of the University depends on the well-being and satisfaction of the faculty, and of new recruits. Threats to cut benefits are not going to help the university. You keep trotting out retirement benefits as a recruiting tool. Now you’re going to tell prospective hires they may lose 6% and you have no plan to make it up? (You’re trying to destroy the university, in order to save the administration.)

Rudnick: Budgets are tight. We could learn how to do better with what we’ve got, starting with optimal risk-sharing, but we’re too stubborn to listen to you on how to do it better, so I’ll just repeat my usual blather. Which she does. The crowd breaks out laughing.

Meanwhile, get your University of Nike T-shirt here:

Now she’s off on the university’s tight future budget. The projections for which she won’t share with the faculty. Shameless. “Tim Clevenger’s new job is not new, it’s part of an effort to reduce administrative costs, and those are substantial!” No kidding. I couldn’t make that one up.
Art 24, Leaves:

Cecil: We’re trying to codify what you’ve told us is current practice. People under 0.5 FTE don’t get sick time, but they don’t typically get docked for missing class for legitimate illness, or have to pay for a substitute, so long as they make it up.
Cecil: Paid 6 weeks parental leave: Suppose 1 parent works at UO and the other at another firm. Both could take family leave. We want to make sure they can do the same if both work at UO. Rudnick: OK.
Some back and forth on faculty on grants getting vacation time. Blandy keeps his mouth shut. Rudnick says she’ll go back to her handlers and find out what’s up.
Art 31: Release time for union officer and negotiating team.
Mauer: We’ve cut the number of releases UO grants to faculty for union work to 2.5, plus 2 more for bargaining. But, we insist we need the right to buy additional time from the university on the same terms as the university gives releases for other administrative work. We want a union that’s run by the faculty, not paid staff, this will help us do that. 

Rudnick: Would UO get to have input, in case releases put a burden on one department? Mauer: Sure, we want to do this cooperatively. Bramhall: Course buyouts happen all the time, let the union do it they way department’s typically do it. Sometimes % of salary, sometimes replacement cost of an adjunct, etc. Gleason: Prices would be negotiated case by case? Cecil: Yeah, if there’s no set rate. We could set a rate, if that’s easier for you. 
Blandy: Release time usually requires Dean approval. Cecil – sounds reasonable, lets work it out. Rudnick: OK.
Big change in the level of cooperation from the admins here – good sign.
Art 32, Sabbatical:

60% for full year, 75% for two quarters, 100% for one. (Change from current 80%).
Cecil: Caucus break? Rudnick: We’ll be back on these on Tuesday. I was told by Scott Coltrane to tell you that we appreciate your significant movement on this proposals. We appreciate it. So, there you are.
AEI issues:

Mauer: Some upheaval at AEI, raises concerns that if these are not addressed it may disrupt the bargaining process. Some refusals by the admin to explain what’s going on. We’re proposing substantial changes in use of adjuncts and NTTFs. Once we have a contract, we expect it will include stronger definitions of adjunct and career. People who are currently adjuncts will move to career. At AEI, some current adjuncts are now being told it’s up or out. Aside from the legal problems with what’s happening, it’s disruptive. Related problems with reducing contracts from 9 to 3 months, and the date to report for work has been changed. Finally, there are rumors about contracting out the entire operation. This would substantially affect what we need to address at the table.
Rudnick: No plan to disband AEI. Some thoughts about looking at tuition structure. Regarding the reporting change, they are being paid and they have to be available for training and meetings. It may be a chance in that no one has ever done it before. As for contracts, it remains that the AEI contract will not be up or out. They are creating 15 career positions, trying to move adjuncts into them. For the specific cases you mentioned on the phone, the woman will get a contract for fall. For the man, they can apply for the career position. We will sit down with them at $300 an hour and make sure they handle the transition to career positions better, since they seem to have some issues.
Mauer: Thanks, we appreciate it. Rudnick: We will also figure out contract terms. 
Lunch break, back at 1:15. They’re back:

Mauer: We’ve made a substantial move on the economics, we wanted to send a clear message and we expect reciprocation. Rudnick: I’ll meet with Gottfredson and Geller and Moffitt tomorrow morning, and we’ll get something done.
Olson: We’ve heard from the faculty, the perception, especially after the Football Palace, is that the university needs to show that its main priority is not athletics. (The athletic subsidies are enough for about 2/3 of the diff in raises. And lets not even talk about what the perception is for parents of potential University of Nike students in the state, or the rest of the country, thanks to Craig Pintens and the NY Times!)
Rudnick: It’s unfortunate that you have that perception and we wish you would stop reinforcing it. It’s too bad, but it’s your fault. The facts show otherwise. (She’s incorrigible – and so easy to set off.)
Appeals for promotion and tenure: Gleason speaks, Rudnick shuts him up, he looks pissed. 
Some stuff about what happens if new stuff comes to light during appeal – book gets accepted, etc.
Cecil: Under current law if denied tenure you can pursue a grievance and a civil case. You want faculty to pick one or the other? Rudnick: Yes.
More back and forth on details of tenure denial grievance process.
Art 49: Acceptable use of UO information assets. Admin counter.

See the live blog from XXVII: They Own Us for background. The synopsis:

In their Art 49, the admins assert ownership of all information stored by faculty on UO info systems. The old policy? The state may or may not have a property interest in information stored on University systems. Mere physical presence of information on a University electronic information system is not sufficient to conclusively establish the ownership and control of that information, just as physical presence of a paper document in a faculty member’s desk or filing cabinet does not establish an irrefutable presumption that the document is owned or controlled by the University.

Rudnick: Gleason found a typo on line one, good boy. We are trying to fix some of the more egregious claims in our previous proposal.

But, they still claim UO owns everything you store on a UO computer or network unless otherwise expressly stated in the article, and they can take away internet access if you misuse it. Crowd breaks out laughing.

Cecil: You’re insane, but if you want to claim the right to do this, it’s discipline, it’s grievable, and we’re going to want to see what UO administrators do with their computers too, to argue it’s not disparate treatment.

Rudnick: Oh.

Green: You’re serious about claiming you own family pictures and MP3’s I store on my UO computer? Rudnick: Yes. You own them too. (WTF?) We asked Geller about the practicality of this – carry two computers with me. Rudnick: That’s why I carry an iPad.

Seriously? She’s using her experiences at a law firm where things are subject to discovery to tell faculty at a university what to do?

Davidson: I understand that UO has a reason to access what’s on a computer for legal reasons – but why insist on ownership?

Rudnick: Some of that will have to be addressed in the Intellectual Property article. But the default is it belongs to UO.

Remember, at the moment UO has no written policy or procedures regarding who in the administration can read your emails or your files or for what purposes.

Gleason: What if I create on my UO computer but store on the cloud? I read this to say it’s mine.

Rudnick: Hold that thought.

Cecil: Suppose I post an anonymous comment on UO Matters? There’s a long tradition on the constructive use of anonymity for public comments. (Yup, back to at least Silence Dogood, a.k.a. Ben Franklin.

Rudnick: OK, come back with better language.

Rudnick: Even what you do at home on your own computer is a public record by Oregon law if it is related to you work at UO.

Mauer: Is complaining about work “work related”? Rudnick: No.

Rudnick: Work related stuff is public records and you don’t own them. (Really? She’s confused. You can own them but they can still be subject to disclosure and vice versa.

Cecil on it: Why can’t faculty have an expectation of privacy? Rudnick: A bunch of reasons. Work of the university, monitor university discipline, etc.

Cecil: Why not a rule saying you have some expectation of privacy – e.g. prior notification. Rudnick: We’d agree to notification after the fact. We are trying to be very clear: The default is that we own it.

Cecil: Suppose I own it and store it on computer – e.g. class notes. We’re going to propose some exceptions.

Gleason: Your class notes are a public record. Rudnick: Maybe not Tim.

Bramhall: So, if I do personal stuff on a personal computer hooked up to a UO network, I do have an expectation of privacy? Rudnick: Yes.

Davidson: Would you be open to limiting searches to cases where there’s a reasonable suspicion or public records? Seems unreasonable for there to be *no* expectation of privacy.

(I wonder if this all applies to students and their email too?)

Section 11: No using UO computers or networks to sell University of Nike t-shirts.

Rudnick appears to have second thoughts on all this: Maybe we should take a bunch of this out, and just reference the law? 

Moving on to promotions.

Rudnick making some concessions. Blandy still hasn’t spoken, but does nod occasionally. All this sounds good for the AEI folks.

Quick break, come back for IP.

Art 51, Intellectual Property, union counter.

Rudnick: If we pay you to think, why do you think that your thoughts belong to you, not your employer? (Uh, check the work-product stuff for lawyers and their clients, Sharon.)

Cecil: So, if we faculty are paid to teach students, does the university then own the students? Or just their brains?

Pratt: Idea is founded in academic freedom, and the idea that the business of the university is to help faculty in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, not to control that knowledge.

Rudnick: We own you and what you do. We get to profit from it, not you. You’re talking about academic freedom, not intellectual property.

Gleason: I’ve actually done my homework this time and read the AAUP stuff. We hire in the sciences, invest $1M in startup. Your proposal will mean we have to write a separate agreement for each such hire. You’re right, our proposal is draconian in the opposite direction. So, we need a compromise that’s workable.

Rudnick is so used to Gleason not making sense she even interrupts when he does.

Cecil: This language is from another university contract – they seem OK with it. Why not UO?

Rudnick: Sec 6 says it’s up to the BU member to disclose.

Olson: This comes from the standard Dept of Commerce deal, required by patent law for things developed by federal funds.

Rudnick: Sec 6 does not give ownership, just requires disclosure. But you want faculty to ave ownership.

Cecil: Maybe you should work on better language.

Olson: Which law do you think this is consistent with?

Rudnick: I don’t think it’s useful to talk about the law. My approach is more pragmatic, lets make a deal.

Mauer: I get it that you think it’s consistent with the law, Sharon. So are other ownership arrangements. So, what law are you talking about?

Rudnick: We can agree to very different ownership rights.

Olson: Look at the Stanford case, where the SCOTUS said university did not own IP, but could work out arrangements with university. UO currently does this well. Why do you want to mess this up?

Mauer: How much money is involved? Rudnick. No. But we’re worried about owning on-line courses, don’t want faculty to take them somewhere else.

Cecil is all over Rudnick on this.

My thought: We are going to end up with different rules for faculty in the bargaining unit and out of the unit. And since people move in and out, it’s going to be a mess.

Gleason: If I was hired by a corporation to do work, they’d own it. The university is just like that corporation. …. He’s slowing down, realizing this isn’t going in a good direction.

Pratt tries to make it clear to Gleason that universities have a slightly different social mission than corporations do.

Gleason: I don’t get the connection between academic freedom and intellectual propoerty.

Cecil: As technology progresses and the amount of money at stake increases, so does the importance of this. We’ve got competing interests, need to make a compromise.

Rudnick: I agree, let’s ignore the law which is very unsettled, and cut a deal.

Cecil: University currently shares 50/50 – why do you want to change it? We need more explanation – maybe we should get Randy in the room?

Rudnick: We spent the morning on economics, we’re going to cut a deal. But in exchange the university wants the money from your IP. So, we’re frustrated with you.

Almost 4:20, they’ll be back Tu at 10AM with a counter on raises. Be there.

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.