UO’s data analytics boot camp makes the WSJ, but not in a good way

Thanks to an alert alumnus for the link. As the story notes UO is not the only university involved in this deceptive scam:

… Christina Denkinger wanted something new after 14 years as an elementary-school teacher in Portland, Ore. After shopping around for a course in data analytics last fall, she requested information through a University of Oregon website portal for an online training program, called a boot camp, offered by the university’s continuing-education division.

She received a “uoregon.edu” email from someone identifying herself as admissions adviser for the boot camp. It had the university logo, and there was no mention in the email of 2U. Ms. Denkinger paid $11,995 to enroll last December.

“The only reason I signed up for this boot camp was because of the reputation of the university,” she said.

One month into the course, she was disappointed with the quality of instruction and began asking questions. That was when she realized that instructors and course materials were all provided by a unit of 2U, Trilogy Education Services.

When she went back and looked on the boot camp website, Ms. Denkinger saw “powered by Trilogy” at the bottom of the landing page.

“I thought it was technical services,” said Ms. Denkinger, who left the course early and has just received a refund. “I do, honestly, feel like I was misled.”

A spokeswoman for the University of Oregon said that it provides administrative oversight and that the partnership with 2U is noted in several places on the website and in its enrollment agreement. After The Wall Street Journal asked about disclosures in April, a line was added to the top of the boot camp landing page saying “in partnership with Trilogy Education Services, a 2U, Inc. brand.”

2U, which isn’t accredited as a university, kept 80% of the tuition from the University of Oregon program, according to its contract with the university, which the Journal reviewed. The university said its 20% share was about $600,000 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021.

I’m no econometrician but I figure it’s never too late to learn this data analytics stuff, so I signed up for further info. No mention of 2U in the response – it’s all UO.

Interestingly, our for-profit collaborators at 2U seem far more concerned about the health of their students, faculty, and staff than our administration is:

Musical Deans

From Around the 0:

Bruce Blonigen, currently the interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will take the helm of the Lundquist College of Business beginning July 15, serving a two-year appointment as dean.

The current dean, Sarah Nutter, has decided to return to the faculty after serving as Edward Maletis Dean of the Lundquist College of Business and professor of accounting since 2017. In an email to campus announcing the changes, Provost Patrick Phillips said he appointed Blonigen after consulting with Lundquist College faculty and staff, as well as other stakeholders.

Blonigen has been at the UO for more than 25 years and has served in various leadership roles, including department head in economics, associate dean for social sciences, dean for faculty and operations in the College of Arts and Sciences, and interim dean of the Lundquist College of Business.

“A capable and experienced administrator and mission-driven leader, the tenure of this appointment will allow Bruce to bring his strengths to bear in fostering a positive and inclusive work and learning environment within the college, ensuring successful faculty recruitment and retention, and working collaboratively with my office to advance the university’s goals through his strategic leadership and effective advocacy,” Phillips said. “This firsthand experience in LCB will no doubt help him as he returns to serve as dean. He brings a measure of familiarity with the college’s faculty and staff, culture, academic offerings, and budget.”

Nutter is returning to her faculty roots as a professor in the School of Accounting. Phillips said that under her leadership, the college and programs have undergone reaccreditation and broadened their international recognition. She has guided the implementation of new software and organizational and financial structures that have greatly improved administrative function and leaves the college in a very solid position for the next phase of development of the college.

“I am grateful to Sarah for her leadership,” he said. “Throughout her time as dean, including critical leadership throughout the pandemic, Sarah has shown keen dedication to the experience and success of our students and has been a strong champion of the college. Thanks to her leadership, the LCB jumped to its highest national ranking yet.”

Phillips appointed Karen Ford, dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, to serve as acting dean until September when the new college dean, Chris Poulsen, begins.

Will abortion bans be good for UO undergrad recruiting?

The authoritative Teen Vogue has the take here. A snippet:

… The Supreme Court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion legislation that has been law for almost 50 years, will transform so many aspects of daily life in the United States. One will likely be college enrollments. Young people who can get pregnant may reconsider going to school in places where abortion is banned or severely restricted. The choice will likely be particularly agonizing for low-income students, who are less able to afford to travel to seek care in states that still provide the procedure.

Shortly after the decision was leaked several people, including former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and activist Amy Siskind, wondered how the decision would affect college students. McCaskill, a former prosecutor and University of Missouri alumnus, says that the state of Missouri has gone to an “extreme place,” pushing legislation to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest and even criminalize physicians.

“If a state does not tell a young woman that they are entitled to terminate a pregnancy after a rape, I’m not sure I’d be spending my money on education in that state,” McCaskill tells Teen Vogue. “It will be interesting to track enrollments at colleges in these states.” …

UO has already stepped up enrollment efforts in Texas. I don’t know if VP Roger Thompson is directing his staff to use Oregon’s abortion laws as a pitch, but it seems like an alternative to focusing on the shrinking pool of HS boys who care about football and have parents willing to pay out of state tuition. And yes I’m trying really hard to be positive today, thanks for noticing.

Oregon’s support for higher ed has increased 4x faster than US average, is now close to median

UO’s Board of Trustees loves to blame our low faculty pay and constant tuition increases on underfunding by our state government. That is no longer true. I wonder who they’ll blame next?

Here’s some data from SHEEO’s latest “State Effort Report”. The median state is Washington, Oregon is 2 spots below. (Note that the skewed distribution means the mean is above the median).

Funding collapsed in the 80s (starting from a high level relative to the US), but since 2010 it has increased by 9%, vs 2% for the rest of the US:

When I came here in 1995, Oregon was a poor state, but incomes are now above the US average. And if you adjust for income, Oregon support is about 12% below the US average, but again close to the median:

Faculty Union finishes new CBA negotiations with Johnson Hall

Full post with links here.

We are thrilled to announce that we have arrived at a tentative agreement with the administration on our CBA, completing this round of negotiations!  Here are some highlights:

  • We negotiated a raise package and got it implemented January 1, 2022, bringing that benefit to faculty six months early.
  • We retained current levels of raises for promotion and PTR reviews for tenure-track faculty and got commensurate raises for Career faculty.
  • We secured research travel support for faculty who are caregivers, and got a commitment from the administration to provide seed funding for more daycare options in the Eugene/Springfield area.

We tentatively plan to have the full agreement and summary of changes to you next week and to hold the vote by email from July 8 to 18.

For now, we would like to thank our members for your consistent engagement – tuning in to sessions, sharing your feedback, and helping your team think through all the ways that various proposals would impact our large and diverse community.

We do want to give a quick update regarding TRP, since so many of you responded to our calls for last-minute feedback on this topic. We have tentatively agreed to leave Article 31 as it is for now, and we have agreed to work with the administration during Fall term to explore phase-out options, including their most recent proposal. So the program won’t remain unchanged forever, but we’ll now have time to engage faculty more deeply on what we know is an important issue.

Provost Phillips and President Schill are actually starting to deliver on academic initiatives

After years of overpromised and underdelivered crap like Jim Bean’s “5 Big Ideas”, UO finally has an administrative team with the smarts, energy, and enough credibility with donors and faculty to actually do new things. I like to bitch as much as the next professor, and plenty of reasonable people will find plenty of reasonable things to disagree with about UO’s new priorities, but hey – Johnson Hall is actually starting to do its job:

Dear colleagues,

As the academic year comes to a close, I am pleased to share an update on a few of the areas highlighted in President Schill’s recently updated University Priorities: data science, environment, sport and wellness, the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, diversity, and innovation. These are initiatives that leverage the university’s current and potential strengths to directly address real-world challenges in our state and region, and, indeed, nationally, and globally.One of the exciting themes that has emerged from dozens of conversations with hundreds of faculty and staff is the synergies between these efforts: from social justice and the environment to data driven approaches to sports and wellness. Chief among these is the opportunity and need to integrate diversity and innovation across all efforts. Other discussions have advanced far enough that faculty have recommended the development of entities to facilitate new opportunities for education, research, and broader university impacts across the state and world. Below, please find a brief update on each.
Programmatic Developments
DATA SCIENCEThe Presidential Initiative in Data Science, launched in 2018, utilized expertise from faculty in many schools and colleges to map out a plan for faculty hires, an undergraduate major, graduate degrees, research foci, and an institutional home for the university’s burgeoning data science endeavors. This spring a faculty strategic planning committee began envisioning the creation of a potential School of Computer and Data Science that would be a home for many of the research and educational activities that have been launched over the last few years. The committee will share its recommendations with university leadership by the end of fall term.
ENVIRONMENT, SPORT AND WELLNESSOver the last few years, faculty have gathered, consulted, and brainstormed around these two areas of historical strength at the UO, with particular focus on their potential contribution to society, research excellence and student career readiness. There has been robust discussion and analysis of the potential for the UO to harness its strengths, expand its programming, and claim national and global leadership in each of these focused areas.Faculty steering and advisory committees for both the Environment and the Sport and Wellness Initiatives have recommended that we explore the development of new institutes in these areas. We are already seeing a powerful model for how these efforts can work with the creation of the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health.Faculty committees will further consider the development of new institutes, which would include educational, research, and outreach functions, and the potential for new degree programs on offer as soon as Fall 2024. The faculty will then bring their recommendations forward for a broader campus conversation, including presentations to the UO Senate in the fall.
THE BALLMER INSTITUTE FOR CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTHAnnounced in February and building on the UO’s legacy of excellence in psychology and prevention science, an interdisciplinary team of faculty is already fast at work designing a new, transformative undergraduate degree program that will prepare our students for meaningful careers as behavioral health practitioners. Its first cohort of students is expected to enroll in fall 2023 and a search for the permanent executive director is underway.
Integrative Activities
DIVERSITYFaculty with expertise in diversity and inclusion have suggested we reinforce existing efforts and avoid the creation of new, potentially competing poles of investment and focus. Thus, we will concentrate resources to support various academic and research programs, such as Latinx and Black Studies; Native American Studies and the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies. We are exploring how the UO might become a Hispanic Serving Institution, recruiting a new associate vice provost to focus on bolstering our ability to recruit and retain faculty of color, and expanding inclusive pedagogies and equitable student outcomes. Each of the programmatic efforts listed above has diversity as core pillar of their educational and research activities.
INNOVATIONFaculty and staff associated with this initiative have already created new campus-wide programs, from the entrepreneurship undergraduate minor and graduate specialization to a catalyst fund to support innovators seeking to develop ventures using university-based research, and launched new community activities, such as the Women’s Innovation Network in partnership with Onward Eugene and a new mentor network.  As the initiative proceeds, they are working on plans to accelerate start-ups and commercialization by UO faculty and students.
In closing, let me thank the countless numbers of faculty, staff, and students who have contributed to these efforts, as well as the initiative leaders who have facilitated and guided these efforts. It is truly remarkable in the midst of a global pandemic. The excitement and energy around the next steps as we pivot toward the future is among the most gratifying engagements of my two decades at the UO. This is how we partner to build the university of the future. We strengthen our foundational values. We empower our faculty to take the lead in designing innovative, transdisciplinary programs, and offer the next generation of students the chance to study, build careers, and make a difference on topics of great interest to them and to the communities we serve.Please enjoy the coming summer, which I hope provides an opportunity for you to rest and recharge a bit after an especially challenging year.Sincerely, 
Patrick Phillips 
Provost and Senior Vice President

Dismal UO Climate Survey results “not to be copied, quoted, published or divulged to others”

I’m sure this purposefully brain-damaged “IDEAL” climate survey will provide endless busy work for DEI VP Alex-Assensoh and her staff. Might even have to hire some more. UO could have used Harvard’s COACHE survey for about $200K less than Gallup charged, but that would have meant having results that could be tracked over time and compared to other universities – a non-starter to Johnson Hall administrators, who believe that performance metrics are just for the little people.

Rumor has it that department heads were emailing their faculty trying to get the response rates up – you sure wouldn’t want to be the department to attract DEI’s attention!

Full dump:

Dan Altman’s Ducks bring more glory to UO

While UO General Counsel Kevin Reed has bragged about his ability to “handle with success” problems such as the rape allegations that have bedeviled Altman’s teams in the past, there’s no hiding the Academic Progress Rate of Altman’s team relative to the rest of the PAC-12, released today by the NCAA:

Arizona State: 1000
Stanford: 998
Arizona: 990
USC: 988
Washington: 987
Cal: 970
Washington State: 970
UCLA: 969
Oregon State: 960
Colorado: 956
Utah: 955
Oregon: 948

Pres Schill announces trustees will distribute commencement bonuses to faculty and staff

Just kidding, their bonus was just for him. With inflation, your raise will be about -5% real.

Dear University of Oregon community,

As we prepare to close out spring term and celebrate commencement, I would like to congratulate all our graduates and thank every member of our campus community for your contributions and efforts this year.

I know that this year has been a challenging one for many of you. I am both impressed and grateful for the way you surmounted these challenges. I am also extremely proud of all that we achieved together. We overcame many obstacles presented by the pandemic to make this year a success. We returned to in-person instruction, research, and experiences. It wasn’t always easy, but in doing this we reaffirmed our mission of being one of the nation’s finest residential learning and research environments.

This fall, we welcomed our largest, most diverse, and academically prepared incoming class of students. We also opened the new DeNorval Unthank Jr. Hall with its beautiful student welcome center and exceptional dining facilities. We celebrated the end of our fundraising campaign that smashed through the original $2 billion goal with a closing total of $3.25 billion. And we began planning the second phase of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

In winter, we launched The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, a perfect melding of our research, teaching, and service missions. And, in so doing, we recommitted ourselves to solving one of the most difficult social problems of our time. In addition to the Ballmer Institute, we continued to make progress on academic and research initiatives in extremely important areas such as the environment, diversity and inclusion, innovation and entrepreneurship, data science, global studies and languages, and sport and wellness.

This spring we affirmed our strategic priorities of supporting student success, creating a diverse and inclusive campus, and improving the world through impactful research and applied science. Looking ahead, in July, we will welcome the top track and field athletes in the world to Hayward Field for the World Athletics Championships—an opportunity to showcase our world-class university, conduct important research, and provide enrichening experiences for our students.

Finally, in a few days, we’ll cheer on the nearly 5,000 graduates who earned degrees this year at a very special commencement that will also welcome back the classes of 2021 and 2020 for the ceremony.
I am deeply grateful for each of you being part of our University of Oregon community. I hope you will have an enjoyable and restful summer…you deserve it! I also hope you can take the opportunity to reflect on this year and savor the challenges you overcame and all that you achieved both as an individual and as part of a community.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Chris Poulsen from Michigan to be new CAS dean

The nice thing about an external dean hire is they can negotiate new lines and money as part of their start-up. If anyone knows what he was promised for CAS, please put it in the comments.

https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=CYp4UM8AAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,
It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Christopher J. Poulsen will join the University of Oregon as our next dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences (CAS).
Chris currently serves as Associate Dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, where he oversees fourteen natural science units. As the Henry Pollack Collegiate Professor for Earth and Environmental Sciences and Climate and Space Sciences, he also leads a research group investigating how and why climate has changed and the implications for future climate change using state-of-the-art climate models. Chris teaches courses on topics of climate and environmental change and was a recipient of the University of Michigan’s John Dewey Award for excellence in teaching.
He holds a PhD in geosciences from Pennsylvania State University and a BA in geology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
The search committee and I were struck by Chris’s experience as a leader in a college of similar size and complexity to CAS who also has the academic credentials and interests that align so well with UO priorities and initiatives. I am also pleased to be bringing someone to UO with demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Chris has contributed to the development of innovative programs at the college and department levels to recruit, mentor, and retain underrepresented students, staff, and faculty, including a program to bring underrepresented graduate students to campus to demystify graduate school and recruit students to the department, a program that has been emulated across the natural sciences division.
Chris will begin his new role on September 1.
I want to thank the search committee, cochaired by Juan-Carlos Molleda, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication, and Elliot Berkman, professor of psychology, for their commitment to this important search. And I remain immensely grateful to Bruce Blonigen for holding the reins as CAS dean since 2018.
Please join me in welcoming Chris to the UO. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at provost@uoregon.edu.
Sincerely,
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

Murthy > Martinez in OSU Pres finalist searches, UO Pres Schill not on the market.

There’s a tool that gives you stats on the popularity of wikipedia searches, and it can give a little insight into the secret world of university searches. OSU has announced two finalists, Charles Martinez and Jayathi Murthy. OSU’s trustees will meet tomorrow at 10AM to anoint one to replace their previous failed pick, F. King Alexander.

Obviously the trustees have already made their choice in secret and are now busy telling their pals who it will be. The insiders then hit wikipedia to learn more. Judging by the number of searches, it’s going to be Murthy.

Updated data here, and thanks to @LaurieMBridges for the tweet that showed me this tool.

So what about UO President Michael Schill? Whether you agree with everything he’s done or not, Schill is not a failure, unlike most recent Oregon public university presidents. So is he on the job market? Apparently not: