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VP Kimberly Espy’s key role in UO’s scientific research output

Last updated on 04/26/2016

Editor’s note: The research article below was recently received by our editorial office. After careful peer review and several rounds of revisions, I have accepted it for publication, and look forward to a press release about it soon in “Around the O”.

Title: VP Kimberly Espy is the driving force behind UO’s scientific research output

Author: No way I’m telling, she controls their budget and their future.*

*The author would like to thank VPRI Espy for her invaluable role in this study.

Abstract: UO VP for Research and Innovation Kimberly Espy has a key role in almost all of UO’s scientific research output.

Data: We obtained data by searching uo press releases for “espy”. In keeping with NSF data disclosure rules, primary data is below, and a complete data set is available at

Methods: We analyzed the most recent 12 months of UO’s press releases about research using standard textual analysis procedures.

Results: 98.6% of UO releases included references to or quotes from VP Espy. In a comparison group randomly drawn from other AAU public research universities, an average of 0.7% of press releases mentioned their VP for Research.

Conclusion: VP Espy has a key role in the vast majority of UO’s research. If President Gottfredson fires her, scientific research at UO, or at least self-promoting press releases funded by money that should have gone to scientific research, would quickly grind to a halt.

2/21/13: See below for RAP report. I’ve got a bunch more documents to post later. Keep them coming, friends.

2/20/2013. Espy was Bean’s pick, and she’s been a disaster. Let’s end it:

Dear Senate President Kyr:

I would like to make a motion for a vote of no confidence in VP for Research Kimberly Espy at the next Senate meeting, to be followed by a vote at the following meeting.

The next scheduled meeting is for March 13, and I’m wondering when the next possible date for a vote would be after that.

Gottfredson can defend her in the Senate if he really believes in her. Chip Kelly did good with that no-huddle offense, time for the faculty to take a clue from the athletic side.

2/21/2013: Bean’s Feb 1 email on Espy, with full report link below. (Note how Bean sat on it for 3 weeks before he even sent it around to the heads. He was off on his Fiesta Bowl junket for part of the time.)

Subject: Research Advisory Panel Final Report

From: Office of the Provost


Attached please find the final report of the Research Advisory Panel (RAP) consisting of Ed Kame’enui (chair), Geri Richmond and Pete von Hippel.  The report deals with recent issues between a subset of faculty and institutes, and office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation.  It goes beyond that to analyze the overall environment for research at UO.  Given our strong desire to expand the AAU metrics, as noted in Goal 1 of the Academic Plan, improving this environment it critical to the future of the University.  They present several recommendations for moving forward.  Some of the recommendations have already been accomplished, some we are starting to implement immediately, and some will lead to healthy discussion.  All will serve our process of improvement.

As a follow-up to this report, Vice President Espy has been meeting with individual faculty to discuss some of the issues presented to me last fall in a meeting at the new Lokey Labs.  We are scheduling a town hall meeting to discuss the research environment at UO, report on progress from the RAP Report, and discuss other ideas for significantly enhancing research at UO.  More details on that event will follow.

I want to thank the Research Advisory Panel for an exceptional piece of work.  They were chosen for the committee because they held a variety of opinions on the issues at hand.  Through hard work and deliberation they came to understand the actual data surrounding the research enterprise here, and to understand each other’s perspectives.  In doing so, they give us a well-informed and well-balanced perspective to begin our discussion.  We owe them our gratitude.

Regards, Jim


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