University cans coach after he beats Stanford, but flunks Covid exam

Say what you will about WSU, an ag school in remote eastern Washington, but can you imagine UO doing this?

We currently have roughly 200 employees who were given religious or philosophical exemptions from the vax requirement, based entirely on clicking a box then self-reporting that they’d watched a web clip about vaccines. (Medical exemptions are reportedly very rare.)

According to the Washington Post, the WSU administration takes the global pandemic a bit more seriously than does Johnson Hall:

In perhaps the most striking case to date of a public employee being terminated because of a coronavirus vaccine mandate, Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich was dismissed Monday, the school announced, after not adhering to a statewide order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in August. He was the state’s highest-paid employee at $3.2 million per year, and he had remained unvaccinated up to the state’s vaccination deadline of Monday. …

On Monday, the university dismissed him. A committee had been scheduled to review his request for a religious exemption, a request he had kept silent until a mentor, retired coach June Jones, revealed it in an interview with USA Today this month. The outcome of Rolovich’s request was uncertain Monday; even if the committee had cleared him for the exemption, he would have faced more arduous mandate hurdles, including the need to demonstrate he worked in a job without extensive up-close human interaction.

Any guesses as to how many of UO’s objectors are paid by the Ducks?

Oregon State’s Board has just one job – and they’ll contract it out again.

Meerah Powell has the story on OPB here:

OSU Board Secretary Debbie Colbert laid out for the trustees the proposed timeline for the upcoming presidential search process, to see “if we’re headed in the right direction.”

The board is hoping to manage a process and presidential hire that can build trust after scandal and distrust forced out the previous president of Oregon’s largest university.

… The process for Alexander’s permanent replacement is slated to start later this month when Board Chair Rani Borkar will put together a committee to help recommend the search firm that will find presidential candidates. 

There are so many bad search firms – I wonder which one they’ll hire this time.

Faculty will need 8.3% raises just to avoid a cut

Our last raise was in Jan 2020. The faculty union agreed to a wage freeze during the pandemic. Bargaining restarts soon. 

Since those last raises the CPI has increased 6.5%, and if current trends continue it will have increased 8.3% by Dec 2021. Median US wages will have increased about 9% (not adjusted for inflation).

Enrollment is up, tuition is up, state support is up, federal pandemic aid to UO is up, and many faculty have retired – including older higher paid Tier 1s with high PERS costs. So UO’s total labor costs for faculty have fallen. By how much? Hard to say. UO’s office of Institutional Research hasn’t updated the listings of UO salaries since October 2020. These were posted quarterly until President Schill put a stop to that during his first year. Now they’re only posted when IR gets around to it, and they no longer show bonuses for coaches and upper admin, etc. (They also now omit most faculty summer pay.)

So how big will the 2022 raises be? 8.3% retroactive to Jan 2021 seems like the obvious place for Johnson Hall to start with – although that would still leave faculty having lost quite a bit of real income during the freeze.

Don’t worry about what to do when your student tests positive – because UO won’t even tell you that they have

I’m going to guess that an over-zealous interpretation of HIPAA by our anti-transparency General Counsel Kevin Reed is behind this latest UO policy:

For reasons of privacy and protected health information, instructors will NOT be notified by Corona Corps when a student in their class has tested positive or has been identified as a close contact.

Here’s the full text of the latest email:

Dear colleagues,  

As we begin the third week of classes, thank you for a largely successful return to campus and start of fall classes. Your help in implementing our layered safety approach of vaccinations, masking and testing/contact tracing has helped us stay on track and we appreciate your efforts. It is important that we stay vigilant with our strategies, so we wanted to communicate a few reminders. We’ve had a few questions about how to handle cases or contacts in classes. Please review the COVID Containment Plan for Classes. In particular: 

  • Instructors should remind students to introduce themselves to their classroom neighbors at the start of each class as this greatly facilitates contact tracing, should it be needed in specific classes. 
  • Instructors should submit the Case and Contact Form (here) if a student informs them that they have tested positive for COVID-19, have been identified as a close contact, or if a student is symptomatic. This form helps to initiate the Corona Corps’ outreach to specific students.
  • Instructors should NOT notify their entire classroom if they learn of a positive case or close contact in their class. Following a case investigation by the Corona Corps, all identified close contacts in a classroom will be notified, including instructors. If the determination is made that an all-class exposure notification is warranted, instructors will also be informed as part of this notification.
  • For reasons of privacy and protected health information, instructors will NOT be notified by Corona Corps when a student in their class has tested positive or has been identified as a close contact. However, students are encouraged to notify their instructors of their health status following a positive COVID-19 test or when notified that they have been identified as a close contact.
  • Vaccinated, asymptomatic students who have been identified as close contacts can continue to attend class. However, these students should be reminded to self-monitor daily and to be tested 3-5 days after exposure. 

In addition, please: 

  • make students aware of how they can access course content and make up missed assignments, 
  • remember to stay six feet away from others if you elect to teach without a mask. 

Sincerely,
Janet Woodruff-BordenExecutive Vice Provost

Knight Campus solicits bids for faculty tracking software

Last I heard UO had abandoned this initiative along with the whole “research metrics” idea that had been pushed by Chuck Lillis, Brad Shelton, and Elliot Berkman. Faculty opposition and ridicule was one reason, the rest was cost and time-suck.

But now it’s back, at least for the Knight Campus. Get your proposal in by 5PM!

RFQ for Faculty Activity Reporting System Knight Campus and Knight Campus > Knight Campus Ops PCS# 110400-00644-RFQ Oct 8, 2021 5:00pm

I wonder if Digital Measures is behind this effort too:

2/11/2019: Admins to combine Faculty Tracking Software with metrics scheme

This software was pitched to us last year as a way to keep your c.v. up to date. But when linked with Brad Shelton’s faculty metrics scheme it’s so much more. Here’s a link to the provost’s website notice:

The project, called Faculty Insights, will result in a sophisticated online system that enhances our ability to capture the wide range of research and creative activities that our faculty do. The primary purpose of the system will be to manage the faculty review process university-wide – including promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review – more efficiently and effectively. Introducing a Faculty Insights system at UO will enhance our ability to streamline faculty personnel processes and make the achievements and instructional activities of faculty in all the schools and colleges more visible, within the campus community and to the broader public. The system will also support the local metrics process and the production of annual unit-level research reports.

UO will contract with Concur to provide the software.

Just kidding, it will likely contract with Digital Measures, a software company out of Milwaukee, with a hip award winning office that doesn’t look cheap. And they aren’t cheap. Their proposal to Western Michigan a few years ago worked out to about $90K a year for a license, and that’s just the start of the costs. The University of Maryland is hiring them too, and their administration just told their Senate the new software will require a full time administrator and 5 grad students paid to input data from the previous failed faculty tracking system.

But of course there will be benefits as well as costs to implementing Brad Shelton’s metrics scheme, such as giving our administration the data they need to track faculty in real time, and allowing them to set our annual goals for promotion or whatever, as explained in Azusa Pacific University’s Activity Insight Basic User Manual, here:

With Activity Insight’s flexible software the administration’s “servant-leader” monitoring can drill down to a remarkable level, such as this Faith Integration Activities report:

Executive Assistant to the Assistant VP for Advancement of Bloat

Executive Assistant to the Assistant VP Advancement, Strategies and Technology Innovation
Location: Eugene, OR 
Closing Date: 
University Advancement is seeking an Executive Assistant to provide executive-level administrative support to the Assistant Vice President of Advancement Strategies and Technology Innovation.

The Advancement Strategies and Technology Innovation department is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of data, technology, process, and policy-related insights and strategies that will provide a comprehensive roadmap for the UO Advancement team to achieve its goals of being able to engage every living constituent. The department has a unique function in that it is based in UO Advancement, but also has a strong working partnership and provides strategic direction to UO Foundation (UOF) staff in collaboration with UO Foundation leadership. …

Prov Phillips to hire search firm to lead search for new CAS dean and VPRI

Presumably Blonigen and Moseley will be candidates – I haven’t heard otherwise.

Dear colleagues,
I am writing to provide an update on two critical academic leadership searches that were interrupted by the pandemic but will be re-launched this fall: one for the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the other for the vice president for research and innovation.
When Bruce Blonigen initially agreed to serve as interim CAS dean in 2018, we had planned to launch a search for a permanent replacement in 2019. Bruce graciously agreed to serve an extra year, but then the pandemic caused us to hold back the search until the university and college were on more stable footing. As we return to in-person activities this fall, we will relaunch the search for a permanent dean to the university’s largest academic unit.
I am deeply grateful to Bruce for serving with distinction as interim dean of CAS since 2019. He stepped into this role just as we were preparing to open Tykeson Hall, a groundbreaking facility focused on the successful collaboration of academic and career advisors, advisors and faculty members, and students. He has provided leadership and direction to the university’s largest college through the launch of several multi-year initiatives, the shift to remote learning, and other operational challenges brought on by COVID-19. He has been an important advocate for the future of CAS and a thoughtful partner in working together to leave the college in a position of strength and stability. Bruce plans to return to teaching and research in the Economics department in the fall of 2022.
Similarly, in the Spring of 2020 the search for a permanent VPRI was paused as a result of the pandemic and Cass Moseley was appointed interim vice president for research and innovation. That search will also be restarted in the coming weeks.
I also thank Cass, who has provided critical leadership for research and innovation during her tenure as interim VP. She facilitated the maintenance of critical projects and infrastructure during the early phase of the pandemic and the phased scale-up of research activities as conditions permitted. She also played a key role in the launch of the Monitoring and Assessment Program to provide COVID-19 testing for the UO and surrounding community. Cass has very ably led the division with integrity and ongoing success and has provided invaluable guidance and direction to the university as a whole during the pandemic.
We will be finalizing the search committees over the next few weeks and engaging with an executive search firm to fill both of these critical positions.
Details on the searches will be posted on the provost’s website when they are available.
If you have any questions about these searches, please reach out to me via otp@uoregon.edu.
Best wishes,
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

Someone will do this job, and I thank them:

Interim Residence Life Isolation & Quarantine Coordinator
Location: Eugene, OR 
Closing Date: 
(Internal Search) University Housing is now accepting applications for the Administration Manager position. The person in this position will be working in a potentially high COVID-19 exposure environment with known and unknown associated health risks. Individuals with underlying health conditions who contract COVID-19 have greater risk for morbidity and mortality as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and should consider these risks prior to accepting this position. This is a temporary full-time live-in position requiring weekend and evening work.

Pres Schill goes native for Senate meeting

Agenda | Watch

October 6, 2021 Senate Meeting Agenda

Academic Year2021-2022DateOctober 6, 2021

Call to Order

3:00 P.M. 

  • Land Acknowledgment; Senate President, Spike Gildea
  • Intro Remarks; Senate President, Gildea
  • ASUO updates; Maxwell Ely

Approval of the Minutes

State of the University

  • University President, Mike Schill

New Business

  • Discussion: UO Senate Bylaws revisions; Spike Gildea
  • Discussion: UO Senate Committee Clean-Up; Dan Tichenor
  • Updates: Textbook Affordability; Robin Clement (Business) and Rayne Vieger (UO Libraries)

Open Discussion

  • The Problems of University Service
    • What is Service?
    • How do we count Service? (Metrics)
    • Why do we need this?
    • Where do we go from here?

Notice of Motion

  • Create UO Senate task force on University Service

Adjournment

5:00 P.M. 

NLRB rules that “Student Athletes” are now university employees – South Park’s Cartman explains consequences for big-time college sports

USAToday:

… “I don’t like to make predictions,” LeRoy said, “but I will say, given what I have seen, it’s only a matter of time before there is another (unionization effort involving) a Division I private school football or basketball program. That will likely result in a vote for union representation and then that school will be between a rock and a hard place because the NCAA rules will say you can’t treat these folks as employees.

“And the NLRB will say (to the school) ‘It doesn’t matter what the NCAA is saying, because you now have a union that you have to bargain with.’ … And I would predict for you, based on the California NIL experience, that the NCAA would capitulate to this and allow schools to form employment relationships.”

Why is this a problem for the NCAA’s business model? Cartwright explains: