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.

Union bargaining IX: 2/19/2013

Prologue: If I was Tim Gleason I’d be worried about how to top the “UO professors posting child porn on Facebook” meme that he and Barbara Altmann started in session VIII when academic freedom came up. What will our administrative colleagues whip out this time? Sweet and innocent, because they didn’t really understand the part of Dixit and Nalebuff that covers mixed strategies?

Dave Hubin has now been sitting on my request for a copy of President Gottfredson’s official calendar for 6 weeks – after I paid him $108. And he wants $193 for 4 pieces of paper showing how much we paid Sharon Rudnick for November and January. When the ODE interviewed President Gottfredson last month about transparency he said:

“I absolutely support it.”

Right. I’m guessing Rudnick alone is going to bill UO $400,000 for this before it’s over, more if she can drag it out til summer.

Summary:

  1. Rudnick seems to be scheming to weaken the Faculty Personnel Committee. Check out last year’s FPC report, chaired by Mike Russo, here. It includes three pages on issues with current procedures, here. Looks like considerable overlap with the issues the union has identified. Also see the last page: Acting Provost Lorraine Davis refused to meet and discuss cases where he over-rules the FPC, and the FPC has concerns about recent decisions to give particular administrators academic tenure even though they have no recent research output. (Thanks to Russo for correction in comments – it was Davis, not Bean last year. Bean was on sabbatical, how could I forget? See here for a bit about Jim Bean’s past intransigence on this issue.)
  2. The administration seems to have decided to stop fighting with the union over the small stuff. The big stuff – raises – will come up in a month or two.

Live blog disclaimer: Don’t link to this on Facebook, Randy Geller is watching you. It’s for the children, of course. This is my opinion of what people said, meant to say, or were really thinking, in the depths of whatever once passed for their soul. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “. If you don’t like my blog try Luebke’s.

Cast: No Geller, no Altmann. Gleason’s late.

8:00 AM, room 450 Lillis. Act 1:

Art 13: Tenure and Promotion, Admin’s redlined counter to the union’s proposal

Rudnick: Tenure comes from the Provost. (Not from your faculty colleagues?). Provost also approves the criteria and the departmental procedures. Mauer: Shouldn’t there be a way for some give and take? Rudnick: These are the legal minimums. Mauer: Why did you take out the part of our proposal requiring discussion? Rudnick: 3rd year reviews. (Time’s up, Bean). Evaluations: Admin’s want to prevent faculty from using unsigned teaching evaluations in their tenure file. Whatever.

Green: Why do you want to take away a faculty member’s right to have a colleague present at the third year meeting between the Dean and Provost and the faculty member? These are often emotional, good to have a supporter. Mauer: But the Dean could have a lawyer present taking notes? Gleason: Hell yes. Davidson: Why do you want to take this right away? Psaki: This just ain’t right. Rudnick: This is an evaluation, we want it be a conversation between the Dean (and Randy Geller if the Dean wants backup) and the faculty member sitting alone on the other side of the table, so we can keep you people in your place. (Armed UOPD too?) Green: Why do you see this as adversarial? This is the tenth time we’ve presented a plan to make things more collegial, why do you keep slapping us down? Blandy: OK, tell me more. Green: The assistant prof has to respond in 10 days. People are nervous. Need to give them the right to have a friend to take notes, talk with them afterwards. Psaki: This is all murky to the junior faculty going through this. Give them the right to have a colleague there. (Easy fix, just do it. This is a test for the admin side: can they back down and go with a reasonable request like this from the union?) Green: We heard this from many faculty when we talked with them about this clause. Pratt: Having sat at the other side from the faculty, as Assoc Dean, this would help. Anderson: As a former head, it would often have been helpful to have another person there with the faculty person. (Check Luebke’s blog, he’s got more on this). Rudnick: Would this also apply to annual reviews? Maybe there’s a middle ground here. (Wow, this is a first from her.)

Timeline:
Rudnick: We want a timeline and a deadline for submitting tenure materials. Mauer: So, why isn’t there a timeline in your proposal? Rudnick: Whoops, will you write that for us?

Criteria:
Pratt to Gleason: You’re missing the point. We ask best people in the field to write reviews. We want  to send them our tenure guidelines, ask them to consider those when they write the letter. Currently it’s too vague. (He’s right, I write these letters and it’s very helpful when the school sends their criteria). Gleason: I write these letters all the time, no one has ever asked me if this person should get tenure under these criteria. (Weird, I get this frequently).

Faculty Personal Committee’s role:
Rudnick: We are reviewing the role of the FPC, because you went union!!! This is big, big big. Are they going to try and grab power from the faculty on tenure now? Bastards! Cecil: Why did you weaken our language requiring the Provost to provide full and complete justification for a tenure denial? Rudnick: Because we want Bean to have the right to sit down with Geller later, and fabricate new reasons for a denial.

Grievance: New language, we will let people grieve over violations of procedures and practices, and we will then eliminate current practice for appeals. You can grieve, take it to the President, if you can argue that our Provost’s denial is arbitrary and capricious. No recourse to arbitration except on procedural grounds.

Break

Art 15: Grievance Procedure

Rudnick: Calendar days versus working days. She’s insisting that we use the Julian Calendar, or something like that. Cecil: We’ll have to consult with our astrologer, but we’ll get you some latin.

Rudnick: Another concession! Union can institute a grievance over an action (not over an interpretation that doesn’t lead to an action.) Another compromise: additional 180 days to file a tort claim notice over discrimination. Grievant can bring union rep, but must be present themselves. Mauer: Can union rep be there if grievant doesn’t want them to be? Rudnick: That’s your problem, work it out with your member. Rudnick: If faculty member wants to grieve with say Provost and doesn’t want to send a copy to the union, we don’t want to require that they do. Cecil: Send copies of decisions to union. Rudnick: Makes sense.

Art 16: Arbitration

Rudnick: Lots more concessions. Sticking point is no arbitration of matters of academic judgement. Arbitration over procedural issues e.g. about tenure. Not over the decision itself. University should not have to re-employ someone who has been convicted of a crime. Mauer: Regardless of the crime and circumstances? Arlo Guthrie: Littering? Mauer: What if the university disbanded a dept, claiming financial exigency? Lots of productive back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick. Rudnick: We can pay people if they testify for our side, but we won’t agree to pay people who testify for the union. Huh?

Next Session: Admins will have counters on Union rights, Drugs, Discipline. Gleason looks up from his iPad with a weird smile.

Rudnick: Maybe we can get to your economic proposals the week of March 19, so I can get in a lot of $400 billable hours over spring break, reviewing your costly proposals to give you already overpaid faculty excessive raises. Mauer: Thanks.

Child porn update: Union Bargaining VIII for 2/7/2013.

Update: 

Prof. Barbara Altmann accuses faculty union of supporting child pornography. 

Update #4 on the Admin blog, for today 2/7/2013:

In perhaps the most extreme section, the Union proposed that “[t]he content of faculty profiles in social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) shall not be considered during any evaluation of a faculty member.” What if a bargaining unit member is using social media to threaten and intimidate colleagues? What about in a case of child pornography?

I’m no child pornographer, but I’m guessing if I was, and posting it on Facebook, the Dean would be the least of my worries. Ok, maybe it’s not really Barbara writing this garbage – maybe JH is just putting her name on something written by one of their law firms, or Randy Geller. Her blog invites people to email her and ask her questions. So what the hell, lets see who is behind the Johnson Hall child porn ring:

Subject: public records request: union child pornography 

Date: February 7, 2013 7:21:59 PM PST
To: Lisa Thornton , David Hubin
Cc: Barbara Altmann , Randy Geller , Doug Blandy , Tim Gleason , James Bean , doug park  

Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for a copy of any emails containing all of the words “child”, “pornography” (or porn) and “union”, sent or received by Michael Gottfredson, Randy Geller, Doug Park, Tim Gleason, Doug Blandy, Barbara Altmann, or Jim Bean, from 1/1/2013 to the present.  

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, as demonstrated by the “bargaining update #4” on this topic, posted by Professor Altmann on the official UO administration information blog at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/ 


Today’s Bargaining session:

Thursday 2/7/2013, 8-12 AM, 450 Lillis: Be there. Word is that Sharon Rudnick will buy all the faculty who show up Voodoo donuts out of her $3200 daily take, or roughly what our students pay for 16 credits of in-state tuition.

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

Prelude: UConn has a faculty union and is in the middle of a big push to be the next university to get into the AAU, including hiring of hundreds of tenure-track teaching and research faculty. UO hired a total of 17 new TTF last year (net) and our research plans are in total disarray, thanks to Interim Provost Jim Bean’s incompetence,lack of focus, and distraction by athletics.

Live-blog: No donuts. WTF? And why does everyone on the admin team have the same smile? Is this why they don’t let Geller show up anymore – he can’t do it?
Doug Blandy
Sharon Rudnick
Tim Gleason


Today’s Cast: No Blandy, no Cecil, no Altmann, no Geller. Where is Geller – still working for Gottfredson?

Scene I:

Rudnick: You’ve been talking out of two sides of your mouth when you say you will talk with the deans but don’t accept that they will talk with faculty. “I don’t mean to be judgmental but it seems you have a schizophrenic view of things.” Mauer: We need a certain amount of trust.

Academic freedom and responsibility:
This should be good – presumably Geller’s had a hand in it after being read the riot act by Gottfredson over his prior attempt at a university policy. Rudnick: I’ll let Tim Gleason talk about this. Then she keeps on talking… We took this from the UF CBA and the AAU Red Book and Oregon law. Gleason: I don’t have much to add. Freedoms and responsibilities. Mauer: We can find the policy on-line? Rudnick: Yes. (Actually, No. A substantially revised policy is currently up for Senate approval, probably in April, but Geller has been sitting on it for 18 months. Check this link for an old redlined version, this was a huge fight with the Senate Executive last year, Geller wouldn’t appear to defend it, much to Dave Hubin’s embarrassment.) Rudnick: Starts lecturing Mauer about faculty, gets that loud angry thing going again. Does this work for her in court? Gleason: Def of disruptive is based not on content, but on how disruptive the context is in which the speech is made. Mauer: These other clauses look good. Mauer: What about g): “Seek change only in ways that don’t obstruct the functions of the university.” (Me: Frohnmayer, Lariviere, and Berdahl all accused much of pretty much exactly this for running UO Matters, requesting “too many” public records, etc.) Same with Geller and his GC Emerita Melinda Grier. Gleason: I don’t think we mean’t this to address civil disobedience. Rudnick jumps in again: nothing in this article would prohibit that. Mauer: pitch a tent outside JH? Rudnick: that would be OK. Mauer: We’ll see what happens when the Dalai Lama appears. Green: Suppose students and faculty block catering trucks from getting to a donor dinner (because the donor got rich off Philip Morris work). Gleason: Say it’s trespass. This policy would be irrelevant because that would be civil disobedience. Rudnick: Nothing in this policy would discourage that, but we could have our cops arrest you and then fire you for illegal activity. Pratt: Suppose the admin decides they want a particular program or course content, but faculty disagreed. (I’m thinking the sports conflict program in law). Would that constitute obstruction? Gleason: That wouldn’t be obstruction. Pratt: Better if it said obstruct “mission of university” rather than “functions of the university”. Rudnick: OK.

(Commenter: “Nothing in this Article affects the University’s right to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study.” Me: That’s new. by “the University” they mean “the Administration”. Sneaky one, Gleason.)

Rudnick: What faculty say in public must be said with restraint. (WTF?) Threshold for university to take action is very high – must show person is not fit for position because of their conduct. (Me: Both Frohnmayer and Berdahl have used my statements on this blog to accuse me of being a bad social scientist – Berdahl while he was Interim President. This clause seems to protect them, and to allow UO to discipline me for my speech?)

The bargaining team has been hammering Rudnick and Gleason on this, they keep backing down, but they are going to need to revise this language a lot.

Blandy enters. ~20 faculty also show up. You missed the nasty part, guys.

Mauer: Can you identify yourself as a UO professor when making protected speech? Green: What about a blog. Rudnick: Should have a disclaimer (whew, I’m good). … Mauer: Lets move on for now and come back to this.

Article 12: Admin’s response on NTTF evaluation and promotion. 

Rudnick: I’m just going to walk through to justify my $400 an hour, then Blandy will answer questions since he only gets $75 – what we charge you for a stenographer. (Lots of productive back and forth here, Rudnick’s decibel level is appropriately modest, for once.) Rudnick: We’ve finally figured out librarians. We talked to the librarians, they want to stick to annual. Mauer doesn’t miss a beat “You consulted with them how?” Rudnick: Uh, we talked with their dean, who said everyone was happy over there. (Lots of unusually productive back and forth on this between Rudnick and Mauer, she’s earning a little of her pay this time. Say $150.)

Mauer: Break time. Rudnick: I’ll make a donut run.

Scene II: Still no donuts.

Art 38: University counterproposal on Jury duty.
Snoozer.

Art 15: Union counterproposal on Grievance Procedure. 
Mauer: Union must have the right to file grievances on behalf of members. E.g. an individual is reluctant to file for fear of retaliation. More than one person might be effected, more efficient for union to file one, rather than many. This is standard procedure. Rudnick: We want to be sure a grievance is about an actual problem that has an impact (OK) and we want to talk to the faculty who are being impacted (what if they want the union to do it?) Don’t want a grievance over, say a difference in interpretation that doesn’t lead to action. Mauer: First is fine, Second not, Third craft some language for us, not a problem. More talk on dates.

Art 16:  Union counterproposal on Arbitration. 
Mauer: going through this line by line, … agree, disagree, …

Next time: Mauer: You’ll be prepared with more counters next time? Rudnick: yes.

The end. See you in 2 weeks.

Journalism dean search fails

2/1/13: I don’t know why, but the search to replace SOJC dean Tim Gleason has failed to produce an acceptable candidate. UO ad here. The search was led by the outside search firm Isaacson Miller – apparently Bob Berdahl’s choice. Next steps presumably include reaching farther down the list or appointing an interim.

1/13/13: Journalism dean candidates announced:

Dr. Thomas Jacobson

Dr. Michael Evans

Bargaining IV live blog, 1/10/2013

Word from the faculty club hot-tub is that Gottfredson has pulled Tim Gleason from the admin bargaining team and replaced him with Chip Kelly. I’ll be in 450 Lillis at 8 AM live blogging, just in case it’s true.

Live Blog: Usual disclaimer applies.

No Gleason! No Geller. Rudnick’s helper lawyer is back, anyone know her name? No Chip either though.

Rudnick: Don’t need Gleason, let’s start. Art 10, Assignment of Prof Responsibilities passes out redlined version, new title. Faculty cannot determine their workload. My faculty chair will be interested to here that! More details …

Gleason appears – still no Kelly.

Mauer: Is the stuff in the preamble grievable? No. Sec 2: Many things that are current practice, which admin likes, but does not want in contract. Therefore this will not be grievable. Rudnick: We don’t want the CBA to be a legally enforceable policy document. Whoa. But she agrees these are mandatory subjects for bargaining, as Mauer points out. Rudnick: Don’t want too muh specificity in contract. Pratt: Department’s should make assignment. Blandy: With consultation with dean’s, provost. Pratt: We want every dept to have their own written policy. Rudnick: Fine, but we don’t want it in the CBA and grievable. Rudnick: Will not allow the faculty to build their own workload policy. Have input, but ultimate decision rests with dean and provost. Cecil: This gives admin the right to change anyone’s work assignment at any time?? So there will be a general written job duties piece, then specific duties could change. Seems reasonable. If they were assigned duties outside written part, they could grieve? Rudnick: Let me think on that.

Sec 7: Rudnick: We want to make clear that faculty must be available for the entire term. Blandy: If you want to leave for 4 weeks to do research, we will want you to take leave. WTF? Rudnick: Doesn’t mean you have to be here, just “available”. She thinks current practice is that faculty are not available when students are gone. She finally gets to the nut: faculty take off winter and spring breaks. She wants them to be “available”. What does that mean? Available on skype? Answering email? Available to come back to Eugene for a meeting at 24 hours notice?

Blandy: E.g. problem scheduling a defense because fac is out of town. (Yes this is a problem. On the other hand, plenty of faculty are “available” not just answering email, but working with graduate students, doing research, doing meetings, all summer for zero pay.) 

Pratt: Yes, this can be a problem. Faculty have problems with what admins do too – e.g. assignments. So, we’re going to write sections for that too – which you have taken out.

Green: Faculty get evaluated and get tenure, promotion based on research. Which for many people teaching 5 classes and doing service happens entirely during the summer.

Me: This section need work. Bramhall: This language is so ad hoc, puts burden on the dean’s to do this individually. Pratt: We want procedures to establish department specific policies. E.g. tenure and promotion.

Rudnick: We see this as consultation with the faculty, approval by provost. We do not view ourselves as adverse. Differences are in details. Poor me, we are working so hard to cooperate… with you … We’re all in this together… Where did this speech come from all of a sudden? Bramhall: We have a long history of administrative decisions that have been very bad. Of course we are skeptical.

Rudnick: We will not agree to let the faculty make these administrative decisions. Consult, yes.

Green, Pratt: We want more explicit department policies on workload, etc.

Mauer: Move on to rest of sections.

Rudnick: Sec 8, overload. (Admin’s get this pretty regularly). E.g. Dean asks someone to teach something extra, attend a working group where your expertise is needed. Regular committee work or teaching additional sections are not overload unless Provost says they are but provost has to follow rules. Regular load is 5 and you teach 6, that would be overload. Refusal to grant overload would not be grievable. Cecil: This would lead to worries about favoritism. Need transparency to build some trust here, make this grievable. I agree – this will lead admins to make less capricious decisions.


Mauer: Why is Sec 8 here given that Sec 10 says there’s no recourse? Rudnick: Because … but I get point about grievability.

Caucus Break

Rudnick: Admins are OK with rule for departmental faculty to develop their own workload policy, with dean/provost approval. Mauer: Deal – draft it for us please.

Pratt: Sec 8: It’s too vague. Take example of an extension class, where would it fall? Extra advising load? Rudnick: We’ll fix that. We’ll do a revised counterproposal. Mauer: Good.

Rudnick: That’s all we have to present. We are working on other stuff but we are not prepared.

Mauer: We are prepared with more proposals.

Article 5, Union Rights: Union can communicate with members at work… Sec 4, information, routine … Sec 5, union gets report on tenure and promotion decisions (remember when Tomlin and Bean tried to hide that?) Union and Admin will have rules for communicating, given past problems. Pratt: e.g. lack of faculty participation in legislature’s achievement contracts with university. Blandy: Why does it say union, not bargaining unit members. (So, what about law, science PI’s? Doesn’t exclude them.) Rudnick: Is notion that union reps can meet members anytime so long as it doesn’t interfere with regular faculty duties? Mauer: Faculty are professionals, won’t interfere. Rudnick: Do you intend to comply with UO policies, charges for use of meeting rooms and services. Mauer: We are not an outside organization, we are an official part of the UO community. Rudnick: Could be clearer. Sec 4., information: you want this every month eve if it doesn’t change? (Moot – if it doesn’t change, just say it didn’t change) Gleason: Term by term maybe? Cecil: Data sucks. Me: Tell me about it. It’s January, JP Monroe hasn’t even posted the count of faculty numbers from September yet. She’ll look into what this all means. Rudnick is clearly nervous about having to release data – as well she should! Mauer: We will want the data needed to implement agreement. Rudnick: What does “equal partner” in development of program and policies mean? (I’m thinking about Geller and Mullens’s drug policy here…) Pratt: Back to achievement compacts process, which had very little faculty input. Cecil: We’re not trying to exceed state requirements, just make sure we actually get a real chance to participate.

Article 6: Dues Deduction
Mauer: Usual stuff, employer processes deductions including fair share deductions, allows for religious exemptions (! state law). Voluntary political action contributions. Same as in GTFF deal. Rudnick: OK, need a form for the political stuff and a signature will required. Cecil: Of course.

Article 19: Personnel files
Faculty get access, can add shit. Mauer: from OAR’s, puts those procedures in contract. Rudnick: OK

Article 31: Release Time
Wake up people! This will give the union the resources needed to participate in shared governance in a way that the Senate should have, but which Hubin and the administration have starved it of. Union wants 5 FTE release time units for officers etc., 4 more for negotiations, union can purchase 5-20 additional course releases. Mauer: All reasonable, standard. Gleason: Who would these people be? Mauer: Example: People charged with processing grievances. Gleason: You’re talking about 25 courses. How will affect departments? Mauer: Elected officials, will change, we will give notice. Gleason: Suppose 3 people are all from same department. Me: Admin pulls people out of teaching research jobs all the time. Mauer: There will be negotiations, we will be responsible. E.g. look at people on the bargaining team – all still doing their regular jobs. (Meanwhile, I’m looking across the table at two admins doing this for pretty substantial pay, not to mention Rudnick!) Rudnick: Concern about how this might affect smaller depts, admin might want limits. Reasonable.

Article 40: Negotiation of Sucessor Agreement:
This first agreement will be for 2 years. If we don’t get agreement by June 1, ratification won’t be until faculty return from summer. Something about rules for ratification vote. If no new agreement, old one continues in force.

Rudnick: We have lots to think about. We will be prepared next Tue with our revised article. Mauer: Not too much left for us to present. Ball’s in admin’s court, mostly.

All done til next Tu.

Admin Transparency Group 12/18/12 live-blog

Short version:

This “administrative advisory group” will not even make a written report to Gottfredson. Wouldn’t want to leave a paper trail on their transparency recommendations!

Meanwhile JH is spending tens of thousands of tuition dollars on “Around the O” PR spin, while nickeling and dimeing journalists and bloggers trying to get real information through the public records law. The SD Tribune has a good story on this trend:

There used to be one government PR specialist for every four reporters in America; now the relationship is almost 1-to-1.

But see below – UO’s Journalism Dean Tim Gleason (for a few more months) isn’t worried about the many hundreds of thousands UO spends on PR flacks – he’s worried about how to stop reporters from getting a few $1000 worth of UO public records without fees and delays.

On Roster: (italics if present)

Barbara Altmann, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Dietrich Belitz, Professor, Physics
John Bonine, Professor, Law
Julie Brown, Senior Director of Communications
Stuart Chin, Professor, Law School Dean designee
Tim Gleason, Journalism Dean
Laura Hinman, ASUO President
Dave Hubin, Chair and Convenor
Renee Irvin, Associate Dean for Finance, AAA; Associate Professor, PPPM
Orca Merwin, Contracts Specialist, Sponsored Projects Services
Jennifer O’Neal, University Historian and Archivist, UO Libraries
Allie O’Connor, Contracts Manager, Purchasing and Contracting Services
Craig Pintens, Sr. Assoc. A.D. for Marketing & PR, Athletics
Kim Sheehan, Professor, Journalism & Communication
Greg Stripp, Associate VP for Administration, Finance and Administration
Lisa Thornton, Public Records Officer, Office of Public Records
Jaime Tryon, Transfer Articulation Specialist, Registrar’s Office

Guests: Your blogger and an Anon reporter type, who must have found out about the meeting from this blog, because Hubin sure didn’t tell anyone.

Agenda:
They didn’t send it to me, sorry. Printed copy includes “best practices” stuff, something Kim Sheehan on “public interest”.

Live Notes: Usual disclaimer: My opinions of what people meant, not a quote unless in ” “.
Dave Hubin: Usual pleasantries. 1.5 years working on public records. Charge of this group: This is an AAG, not a committee because we want to cut the faculty and the STC out of things and that requires an end run around Kyr and the Senate.

Dave’s history: PRO formed 2 years ago by Lariviere because Melinda Grier fucked up. Turnaround time is now ~7 days. (Not true for the ones Geller steps on – i.e. everything of interest – those typically take ~30. DOJ says 10 is typically reasonable). Lariviere proposed fee waiver (not true: Senate had asked for this a year prior). Lariviere asked for log of requests and follow-through. (Not true. STC fought for this too.) Hubin says $ limit caused problems, still needed to convert time estimates to $. (How hard is that – it’s multiplication.)

Hubin then switched to one hour. He casts this as efficiency – in practice it lead to a large and noticeable decrease in responsiveness. Additionally, the interim PRO, Lisa Thorton, with Hubin’s blessing, stopped approving any fee waiver requests, a policy which continues to this day unless the requester is able to figure out how to embarrass the administration into it, as UO Matters did with the Oregon Hall air quality docs.

Hubin will not even share the opinion from Randy Geller which purports to justify PR Officer Thornton’s refusal to even explain her fee waiver denials. 

Kim Sheehan: Does the money go back to departments? (Not until UO Matters discovered it wasn’t, now it does.)

Lisa Thornton, PRO: Reviews PRO website, here. Sheehan: No anonymous requests? True – all names except students. Hubin: Good Q for group. We could. Hubin: We would allow this for whistleblowers. (Not true, I’ve tried it).

Dietrich Belitz: Who determines what gets posted automatically? Thornton: It’s only athletics contracts. These and other docs are hidden from Google, by our special $25,000 software, but if I have them and someone somehow finds that out, I send them out.

Hubin: This group could recommend posting more stuff – e.g. contracts over $100K. (Oregon law requires UO to do this annually, but Geller hides a lot anyway.)

Thornton: Comparison of that other AAU’s do. Claims one hour wavier is working – for whom? Still working on the definition of the public interest. Health (aftermath of Oregon Hall air quality fiasco and UO Matters pushing it). Wrongdoing – we waive fees if we think there’s evidence of wrongdoing. Sure you do. 20% discount for “traditional media”.

Rennee Irvin: Union? Not using PR

Tim Gleason: Back to his claim that law allows them to charge fees even when the public is interested. Wow does he have a problem with giving away documents to the public. He’s all about the “burden on the providing organization”. This guy is Dean of Journalism? Not for long it seems.

Hubin: It’s complicated. I’ve got handouts. Including one from John Bonine – I’ll add later.

Belitz: Why not put everything that’s clearly a public record up on the web – e.g. as Portland does with property records. (Many municipalities do this with many things). Hubin: We could do this, do we want to? Q for this group.

Jennifer O’Neal (UO archivist): Retention: State mandates retention schedule for UO docs. As of 3-4 years ago we ran out of space, now take in only after about 15 years. Have a grant to make them available to researchers. These now are getting utilized. We help PRO or work directly with requestors.

Hubin: How good a job are we doing with retention? 

O’Neal: Some dept’s are good, many don’t think about it, have staff. (And some are simply hiding things.)

Hubin: Thanks, that’s it. We’ll use doodle to find a time that we can hide from the public again.

O’Neal: Is this group going to come up with anything tangible, or just meet? (Let me guess – she’s new here.)

Hubin: I might take some of what you say to Gottfredson, I might not. It’s all advisory. Not even a written report!!!

Hubin caves on fees for OH air quality docs

9/25/2012: Sorry, long post. The gist? If you want action at UO go to Pete DeFazio and your union – the latter is DeFazio’s advice. While Oregon’s public records law website says:

Government transparency is vital to a healthy democracy. Public scrutiny helps ensure that government spends tax dollars wisely and works for the benefit of the people. Oregon’s Public Records and Meetings Laws underscore the state’s commitment to transparency. Government records are available to the public, and governing bodies must conduct deliberations and make decisions in the open.

that’s the theory, not UO’s practice.

I made a public records request for documents on expenditures to address Oregon Hall air quality on August 16. A month later I got a few scraps of spreadsheets from the PR Office, and a letter saying that if I wanted more info the office, which reports to UO President Mike Gottfredson via Dave Hubin, would charge me hundreds of dollars. They told me that by their standards the public interest did not justify a fee wavier. Meanwhile the OH people went to Congressman Pete DeFazio, who told Gottfredson to get on it:

A week after this letter George Hecht was organizing public meetings and hiring a consultant to dig into the problems. An actual air-quality consultant, not a Robin Holmes manipulate-public-opinion consultant.

But the public records office still refused to waive the fees. I pushed this with Lisa Thornton during her interview for UO’s Public Record’s Officer position a few weeks ago. I got some weird pushback from UO Journalism and Communications Dean Tim Gleason, who was also at the interviews. I don’t understand why Gleason has decided to devote his time to trying to weaken public records access and transparency at UO, instead of helping expose and stop Robin Holmes from spending $17,000 to $55,000 in public funds to manipulate the student vote, but I’m sure he’s got his reasons.

Ms Thornton is a competent person, formerly interim and now promoted to the permanent PRO job. I’m sure she has just been following the orders she got from Hubin and Berdahl on how to delay and frustrate people looking for public records. And on Friday, she suddenly caved and gave a full fee waiver. I’ll post the docs when I get them. This is the first time UO has waived fees in response to a public interest argument since Hubin and Berdahl cracked down on public records access in May. I’ll call it a 5% improvement in transparency, still a long way from where we were with Lariviere, and even farther from where UC-I was under Gottfredson.

While UO will stonewall release of legitimate public records that might embarrass some administrator, it has a huge and expensive public relations apparatus and many staffers dedicated to putting out stuff to try and UO’s administrators look good. That work is so clearly impossible that it must pay very well indeed, right, Provost Bean?

My guess is that Thornton and Hubin waived the fees on these documents for one simple reason – someone in JH looked at them and figured that their release would not be as embarrassing as continued stonewalling in the face of DeFazio’s letter above and the persistence of those who work in OH. That’s not exactly the public-interest cost-benefit test the law envisions, but if that what it takes, this blog is plenty willing to help supply the necessary levels of embarrassment.