I got interested in public records matters back in 2006, after Melinda Grier and AA Director Penny Daugherty tried to charge me $200 to see copies of UO’s Affirmative Action plans – documents which state clearly on the cover that they are to be made freely available on request. Most universities post these on the web, but it took the threat of a motion to the UO Senate to get UO to hand them over.
When they did I found out why they were so secretive. UO’s AA Office routinely filed the plans late – even skipping some years. Dave Frohnmayer would then backdate them to make it look like UO was in compliance with the federal law requiring annual updates.
Eventually I was able to convince AA to post the plans on the web, and at least try and do the updates annually. This year Penny Daugherty tells me the plan will only be a month or so late. When it is done, I expect it will show what it has always shown – UO’s hiring of tenure track faculty is generally representative of the pool of available PhD’s by race and ethnicity.
On the other hand the Johnson Hall executive administration, which frequently exploits a loophole in federal law that allows them to hire administrators without a search or even a public announcement that there is a job opening, will not be representative of the available pool of administrators.
The problem is not lack of resources. UO’s AAEO office was already larger than of many other comparable schools, and their spending has increased from $432,000 for the 2009 FY to $635,000 for 2012. Report here. They spent $13,000 on conference registration fees, and $10,000 on out of state travel. Add in the $1 million or so budget for OIED, and you begin to see how expense and mismanaged UO’s diversity efforts have been.
7/8/2011 update: This time she’s only a week late – Penny has now posted the signed 2011-2012 AA Plan on her website. The quick take for those who enjoy the sordid business of classifying Americans by race and gender: Faculty hiring is broadly representative on race/ethnicity, bit less on gender. UO’s higher administration executives remain a problem:
One question I’ve got is why the UO AAEO office has not yet adopted the new multi-racial categories. The OFCCP has been recommending these for several years now. More on this later.
7/6/2011: At the bottom of every UO job ad it says “The University of Oregon is an EO/AA/ADA institution …” Sort of important stuff, if you are looking for work, or serving on a search committee.
Penny Daugherty is in charge of the AAEO office. She has two main responsibilities: Update UO’s Affirmative Action Plan every year with new numbers, and approve exceptions to the regular hiring rules. In practice, this means giving the wink-and-nod to appointments for UO administrators and their kids without requiring an AA compliant public posting and competitive search.
Ms Daugherty has failed to update the AA plan on time 7 out of the past 8 years. Some years she just blows it off completely. She’s late again this year – and won’t say when or if she will update. It’s not about resources – she has nearly twice the staff of comparable offices. Her incompetence has lead to one OFCCP investigation of UO, so far.
But she must be doing a hell of a job with the wink-and-nod. Our administration just gave her a 7% raise, to $105,316.