Firing unites UO, almost

12/11/2011: Greg Bolt has a long story in the RG on how the Lariviere firing has forged new leadership and solidarity at UO:

History professor Ian McNeely, a member of the UO Senate’s executive committee, said it has been inspiring to see how people have put aside differences to work together to advance new management ideas for the university. …. There are people who have been very vocal critics of the athletic program, for example, talking with very high profile donors to athletics and agreeing that on this day we can begin to move forward together.”
Music professor Robert Kyr, president of the UO Senate, went even further. He said the university community already is moving past Lariviere’s firing, which he said has opened new lines of dialogue with state leaders that are leading to a new and better relationship. “Whatever happened between the state board, the chancellor, the governor and President Lariviere is in the past,” Kyr said. “We’re in a new era now. We want to go forward, and we want to collaborate and have consultation at all levels of the decision-making process. We’re very positive, and we’re very excited about this new relationship.” …
Rep. Phil Barnhart, a Eugene Democrat, has stated publicly that he will introduce a bill in the February session allowing separate university boards, which so far only the UO and Portland State University have said they are interested in. … “I am pushing for this to be dealt with in the short term,” Barnhart said. “I would like the university to go out on a search for a new president with an assurance that the governance issue is going to be dealt with in the best way possible.”

Kitzhaber invited Senate President Kyr and faculty to Salem – not the Provost, not the VP’s, not the deans, not the “executive leadership team”. It’s been interesting how the faculty has taken the lead so far. The Senate and dept. heads supported Berdahl and no one else. Reportedly the deans were willing to accept Pernsteiner’s toadying insider candidate Jim Bean as interim. Johnson Hall was split.

Soon these people will put their skill-set to work and start the brown-nosing of Berdahl. Then our administrators will try to put the faculty back in their place so they can safely return to figuring out new ways to siphon off UO tuition for their car payments and airfare to away games. We’ll see if this has changed UO’s internal politics as much as it appears to have changed our relationship with the state.

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10 Responses to Firing unites UO, almost

  1. Roast Duck says:

    It’s telling that the financial plan of the new partnership apparently is off the table, at least for now. To me, that was the most promising aspect of the whole thing — the prospect of an endowment growing in real value (and yield) over time, as against a declining state contribution.

    I wonder what the donors of the $800 million are going to think of this?

    It’s also interesting that the faculty leadership were surprised at the perception outside UO that the financing plan would hurt the other campuses — it is so obvious that this is how it has been seen.

    Whilst to me, it has always seemed that the financing plan would probably be good for the other campuses, as well of course as for UO — I say probably because there are so many unforeseeable contingencies — one can never know these things with certainty.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lacking of confidence in how much power the senate actually has, more faculty members are considering union as a real solution lately. The successful senate leadership however made a huge difference in the current crisis and I sure hope that it has a lasting effect for faculty role in governing, with or without a union.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I sure hope we don’t get stuck with a union here. It would effectively destroy any benefit of becoming more independent. It would just add another layer of bureaucracy to the many we already have.

    Also, I can’t imagine donors wanting to support a university with a union faculty.

  4. Anonymous says:

    re Senate Power: When Prexy ratifies the Constitution that was passed by the Statutory Faculty on Wednesday, Dec 6, the Senate will have as much power as Oregon law allows.
    Perhaps more importantly, it will have tools that optimize transparent negotiation on all issues of academic relevance. If you haven’t read it (URL above), please do. Whether or not it lives up to its promise will be very much up to those Faculty who cherish faculty governance. Who says so? The Old Man.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I voted for the new Constitution. But only 10-15% of faculty cared to show up to vote. Aside from the Senate leadership’s great wisdom, the success in Berdahl ‘s appointment is partly due to the power of demonstrated faculty unity. But such unity is rater crisis induced and uncommon on this campus. The Dec 6 assembly attendance makes me wonder about how much power the senate will still hold, when the crisis and unity fade away and selecting next Prez draws close. I sure hope that the senate leadership will outsmart those not well intended inside and outside UO.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am on the fence regarding union. uomatters shows plenty evidence how uo upper administration cared more to enrich themselves financially than that of the faculty, and its public knowledge that uo administrators’ pay is at much higher level nationally than that of the faculty. The union people said that the only way to address such a problem would be through a union. It also seems that the OUS board and the governor and top administrations are least supportive of a union.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Union or not, people need to step up and serve on the Senate and on internal governance committees. That’s the best way to realize the potential of the new constitution and to make good on the hard work of the Senate leadership both during this crisis and in the months of quiet but forceful constitutional negotiations that preceded it. The presidential search and the legislative agenda will provide some drama, but internal policies that the Senate now gets a say over will be just as critical.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure your statement about the Dean’s wiling to accept Bean as a candidate is accurate. This was NOT the case in my college.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bean lecturing on the simplex method? Not going to happen. He will leave for a dean or provost job at some non AAU place and count himself lucky.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sure it could happen – Phil Romero is still teaching LCB courses.