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Union bargaining IX: 2/19/2013

Prologue: If I was Tim Gleason I’d be worried about how to top the “UO professors posting child porn on Facebook” meme that he and Barbara Altmann started in session VIII when academic freedom came up. What will our administrative colleagues whip out this time? Sweet and innocent, because they didn’t really understand the part of Dixit and Nalebuff that covers mixed strategies?

Dave Hubin has now been sitting on my request for a copy of President Gottfredson’s official calendar for 6 weeks – after I paid him $108. And he wants $193 for 4 pieces of paper showing how much we paid Sharon Rudnick for November and January. When the ODE interviewed President Gottfredson last month about transparency he said:

“I absolutely support it.”

Right. I’m guessing Rudnick alone is going to bill UO $400,000 for this before it’s over, more if she can drag it out til summer.


  1. Rudnick seems to be scheming to weaken the Faculty Personnel Committee. Check out last year’s FPC report, chaired by Mike Russo, here. It includes three pages on issues with current procedures, here. Looks like considerable overlap with the issues the union has identified. Also see the last page: Acting Provost Lorraine Davis refused to meet and discuss cases where he over-rules the FPC, and the FPC has concerns about recent decisions to give particular administrators academic tenure even though they have no recent research output. (Thanks to Russo for correction in comments – it was Davis, not Bean last year. Bean was on sabbatical, how could I forget? See here for a bit about Jim Bean’s past intransigence on this issue.)
  2. The administration seems to have decided to stop fighting with the union over the small stuff. The big stuff – raises – will come up in a month or two.

Live blog disclaimer: Don’t link to this on Facebook, Randy Geller is watching you. It’s for the children, of course. This is my opinion of what people said, meant to say, or were really thinking, in the depths of whatever once passed for their soul. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “. If you don’t like my blog try Luebke’s.

Cast: No Geller, no Altmann. Gleason’s late.

8:00 AM, room 450 Lillis. Act 1:

Art 13: Tenure and Promotion, Admin’s redlined counter to the union’s proposal

Rudnick: Tenure comes from the Provost. (Not from your faculty colleagues?). Provost also approves the criteria and the departmental procedures. Mauer: Shouldn’t there be a way for some give and take? Rudnick: These are the legal minimums. Mauer: Why did you take out the part of our proposal requiring discussion? Rudnick: 3rd year reviews. (Time’s up, Bean). Evaluations: Admin’s want to prevent faculty from using unsigned teaching evaluations in their tenure file. Whatever.

Green: Why do you want to take away a faculty member’s right to have a colleague present at the third year meeting between the Dean and Provost and the faculty member? These are often emotional, good to have a supporter. Mauer: But the Dean could have a lawyer present taking notes? Gleason: Hell yes. Davidson: Why do you want to take this right away? Psaki: This just ain’t right. Rudnick: This is an evaluation, we want it be a conversation between the Dean (and Randy Geller if the Dean wants backup) and the faculty member sitting alone on the other side of the table, so we can keep you people in your place. (Armed UOPD too?) Green: Why do you see this as adversarial? This is the tenth time we’ve presented a plan to make things more collegial, why do you keep slapping us down? Blandy: OK, tell me more. Green: The assistant prof has to respond in 10 days. People are nervous. Need to give them the right to have a friend to take notes, talk with them afterwards. Psaki: This is all murky to the junior faculty going through this. Give them the right to have a colleague there. (Easy fix, just do it. This is a test for the admin side: can they back down and go with a reasonable request like this from the union?) Green: We heard this from many faculty when we talked with them about this clause. Pratt: Having sat at the other side from the faculty, as Assoc Dean, this would help. Anderson: As a former head, it would often have been helpful to have another person there with the faculty person. (Check Luebke’s blog, he’s got more on this). Rudnick: Would this also apply to annual reviews? Maybe there’s a middle ground here. (Wow, this is a first from her.)

Rudnick: We want a timeline and a deadline for submitting tenure materials. Mauer: So, why isn’t there a timeline in your proposal? Rudnick: Whoops, will you write that for us?

Pratt to Gleason: You’re missing the point. We ask best people in the field to write reviews. We want  to send them our tenure guidelines, ask them to consider those when they write the letter. Currently it’s too vague. (He’s right, I write these letters and it’s very helpful when the school sends their criteria). Gleason: I write these letters all the time, no one has ever asked me if this person should get tenure under these criteria. (Weird, I get this frequently).

Faculty Personal Committee’s role:
Rudnick: We are reviewing the role of the FPC, because you went union!!! This is big, big big. Are they going to try and grab power from the faculty on tenure now? Bastards! Cecil: Why did you weaken our language requiring the Provost to provide full and complete justification for a tenure denial? Rudnick: Because we want Bean to have the right to sit down with Geller later, and fabricate new reasons for a denial.

Grievance: New language, we will let people grieve over violations of procedures and practices, and we will then eliminate current practice for appeals. You can grieve, take it to the President, if you can argue that our Provost’s denial is arbitrary and capricious. No recourse to arbitration except on procedural grounds.


Art 15: Grievance Procedure

Rudnick: Calendar days versus working days. She’s insisting that we use the Julian Calendar, or something like that. Cecil: We’ll have to consult with our astrologer, but we’ll get you some latin.

Rudnick: Another concession! Union can institute a grievance over an action (not over an interpretation that doesn’t lead to an action.) Another compromise: additional 180 days to file a tort claim notice over discrimination. Grievant can bring union rep, but must be present themselves. Mauer: Can union rep be there if grievant doesn’t want them to be? Rudnick: That’s your problem, work it out with your member. Rudnick: If faculty member wants to grieve with say Provost and doesn’t want to send a copy to the union, we don’t want to require that they do. Cecil: Send copies of decisions to union. Rudnick: Makes sense.

Art 16: Arbitration

Rudnick: Lots more concessions. Sticking point is no arbitration of matters of academic judgement. Arbitration over procedural issues e.g. about tenure. Not over the decision itself. University should not have to re-employ someone who has been convicted of a crime. Mauer: Regardless of the crime and circumstances? Arlo Guthrie: Littering? Mauer: What if the university disbanded a dept, claiming financial exigency? Lots of productive back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick. Rudnick: We can pay people if they testify for our side, but we won’t agree to pay people who testify for the union. Huh?

Next Session: Admins will have counters on Union rights, Drugs, Discipline. Gleason looks up from his iPad with a weird smile.

Rudnick: Maybe we can get to your economic proposals the week of March 19, so I can get in a lot of $400 billable hours over spring break, reviewing your costly proposals to give you already overpaid faculty excessive raises. Mauer: Thanks.


  1. Three-Toed Sloth 02/19/2013

    Wow! A concession! Does this mean we’re done with posturing?

    • Cat 02/19/2013

      Oh, come on, dude. Be serious.

      FYI: The faculty do not currently have power over tenure. Already it’s all in the hands of the provost. Every other stage up to that point, including FPC, is merely advisory. Ideally a provost heeds the advice given at the various stages, but he/she is not obligated to do so. And, legally, the decision is exclusively the provost’s. There’s no change in the admin’s proposal here.

    • Three-Toed Sloth 02/19/2013

      So true. Still, it’s bracing to confront the naked absolutism of it all.

    • UO Matters 02/19/2013

      Faculty have lots of power over tenure, through their departments and the FPC. What we don’t have is the final authority. That’s in the hands of Jim Bean, and he won’t even talk to the FPC when he reverses their recommendation.

    • Bluto 02/19/2013

      ” Still, it’s bracing to confront the naked absolutism of it all.”

      That gets funnier every time I read it! You want naked absolutism, go work for a factory in China for a while.

    • Cat 02/19/2013

      Faculty have lots of power… except when they don’t. And it’s when they don’t that one comes to fully understand that all power over promotion and tenure lies in the hands of the provost.

      So, as I said, there is no power grab here–merely, as the Sloth says, reality laid bare.

    • Mike Russo 02/20/2013

      Folks, bear in mind that my memo refers to last year, when Lorraine Davis was in the Provost office. The 2011-2012 Faculty Personnel Committee, the basis for the memo, had no dealings with Jim Bean. Can you change your posting, Bill, to reflect this? Thanks.

    • UO Matters 02/20/2013

      Thanks Mike, fixed. I forgot Bean was on sabbatical last year.

    • Three-Toed Sloth 02/20/2013

      Calm down, Bluto, curl up with your encyclopedia of canon law, and look up “plenitudo potestatis”

  2. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    Interesting stuff.
    Say … isn’t Harrang Long Gary Rudnick also the law firm for NIKE?

    Given NIKE/Knight’s overwhelming influence at UO, couldn’t we say that, effectively, the UO faculty is negotiating with NIKE for their rights to employment?

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