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Update: Interim Provost Jim Bean finally resigns. Ray of hope for UO.

Last updated on 05/12/2015

2/20/2013: Congratulations to Nathan Tublitz and the Senate: SPQUO. Stupid and futile gesture works!

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that James Bean has requested a return to his faculty position at the Lundquist College of Business at the end of this fiscal year. Jim’s more than four years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon as senior vice president and provost came at a particularly critical time for the institution. His efforts to develop a transparent budget system for the university and to place the campus on a better financial footing have been especially noteworthy. Equally important is his work with faculty and the deans to develop a dynamic academic plan.

There are many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate those with you in the coming months. I am also personally very grateful for his guidance, counsel and leadership during my first months here.

I have asked Jim to continue to lend his expertise to certain critical opportunities facing the university following his return to the faculty. I am very appreciative that Jim has agreed to continue to lend substantial support to issues he has played a major role in during his time as provost.

I will work with campus leadership, faculty and our community colleagues as we initiate a national search for Jim’s permanent successor. In addition, I will seek campus and community input as I consider an interim replacement to assume the role of senior vice president and provost on July 1 while we undertake our search.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.

Best regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

2/14/2013: Nathan Tublitz’s motion for an immediate performance review of Interim UO Provost James C. Bean first came up in the January meeting. The Senate put it off, hoping that President Gottfredson would either convince Bean to step down quietly, or decide that under current rules Bean should be reviewed now anyway. Neither happened, so the motion came back up yesterday. There was a lively discussion. Professor Tublitz made the case for the importance of the job, and hit a few of the highlights of Bean’s various failures. No one disputed the facts.

Pres-Elect Margie Paris and Kassia Dellabough argued for delay until fall, when UO will finally have a formal evaluation policy. I argued to just do it. Senate President Kyr gave President Gottfredson a chance to defend Bean or the proposed delay, he declined. After an amendment on the dates (Gottfredson to start the review now, and report to us at the May meeting) the motion passed on a voice vote, about 25 in favor and 2 opposed.

My take on the Senate’s message to President Gottfredson? We lost confidence in Bean long ago, and the longer you keep him the more we wonder about you. Appoint an interim, and start the search for new provost now, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.


  1. Anonymous 02/14/2013

    You’re the fool, Harbaugh. This was a *genuinely* defamatory post title. Good job.

  2. Anonymous 02/14/2013

    Defamatory to whom?

    • UO Matters 02/14/2013

      Maybe Jim’s mad about my math? Now that would be *genuinely* ironic.

    • Anonymous 02/14/2013

      The motion, as I understand it, was for an immediate performance review of Jim Bean. The motion was not to remove Bean as Provost. The post is defamatory.

    • Anonymous 02/14/2013

      I’m not sure defamatory is the same as wrong (or exaggeration).

    • UO Matters 02/14/2013

      Nah, he’s got a point. A vote of no confidence would probably have been 27 to 0. I’ll change the title.

    • Anonymous 02/14/2013

      Malice: knowingly false or with reckless disregard for the truth.

    • Anonymous 02/15/2013

      Oh, I concede it was malicious. But not defamatory, much less “*genuinely*” defamatory.

      In fact, one might say that it was merely an interpretation–and a quite logical one–of the Senate vote. It seems unlikely that the Senate would have voted, 25 to 2, to review an administrator in whose abilities they had complete confidence and with whose performance they found no quarrel.

    • Anonymous 02/15/2013

      Naw, statement of fact. Done been published too. Damages presumed. Sheet.

    • UO Matters 02/15/2013

      Now I’m worried. Any chance we can resolve this in a civilized manner, Provost Bean?

      Rapiers on the Quad, at dawn? I’ll have my second contact Randy Geller.

    • Anonymous 02/15/2013

      Knight Arena. Cage Match.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      Everyone chill… Bean “requested a return to his faculty position,” so there are no damages to sue for. That takes all the fun out of it, I know.

  3. Anonymous 02/14/2013

    Gottfredson knows Bean is toast. He probably already has a successor lined up

  4. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    Send lawyers, guns and money, Dad, get me out of this! W.Z.

    • Anonymous 02/15/2013

      Chronicle of Higher Education: UO Provost sues economics professor over malicious math

  5. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    Professor relies on The Fable of the Bees defense.

  6. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    Truth is an absolute defense, so just ask Nathan to call for a vote of no confidence and get Huaxin to insist that Kyr announces the count.

  7. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    Well it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late. CK

  8. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    anti-SLAPP. The provost will end up paying his lawyer *and* your lawyer.

  9. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    SLAPP! Your ass goodbye.

  10. Anonymous 02/15/2013

    Better also change “fool” to “dumb ass” as there’s a clear precedent on your side there:

    A statement that the plaintiff is a “Dumb Ass,” even first among “Dumb Asses,” communicates no factual proposition susceptible of proof or refutation. It is true that “dumb” by itself can convey the relatively concrete meaning “lacking in intelligence.” Even so, depending on context, it may convey a lack less of objectively assayable mental function than of such imponderable and debatable virtues as judgment or wisdom. Here defendant did not use “dumb” in isolation, but as part of the idiomatic phrase, “dumb ass.” When applied to a whole human being, the term “ass” is a general expression of contempt essentially devoid of factual content. Adding the word “dumb” merely converts “contemptible person” to “contemptible fool.” Plaintiffs were justifiably insulted by this epithet, but they failed entirely to show how it could be found to convey a provable factual proposition. … If the meaning conveyed cannot by its nature be proved false, it cannot support a libel claim.

  11. Sam Alito 02/15/2013

    I’m no lawyer, but if Bean sues you isn’t there some sort of discovery phase, where you can ask to see what he has written about you in emails? Perhaps ones to other UO administrators, perhaps containing false statements about you? Would that be defamation, if it’s in an email? Just curious, I’ve certainly never heard of any rumors that anyone in JH has ever written anything untoward about you.

    • Anonymous 02/15/2013

      No. No. No.

    • Anonymous 02/16/2013

      union stewards also have the right to ask for those types of documents – especially when proving retaliation

  12. Anonymous 02/16/2013

    yeah, cuz…wha?

    • Open 02/16/2013

      You look great in those pajamas.

  13. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    Dog to UOmatters

    are you sure you got enough scotch to get you
    through tonite?

  14. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    Who’s next on your list: Geller or Espy?

  15. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    This is the provost who said he’d leave UO if the faculty voted to unionize. And in 4 months, he’ll be a dues-paying member of the bargaining unit. Wonder if he’ll sign the card and get voting rights?

  16. Anonymous 02/21/2013


    “dynamic academic plan”

    “many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost”

    Faint praise indeed.

    As for union dues, won’t they make him a “special assistant” to someone like they do all the dead weight around here?

  17. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    Dear Colleagues:

    Please join me in thanking Jim Bean for his services as Provost and welcoming him back to the faculty of the Lundquist College of Business. Although Jim will have significant responsibilities in Johnson Hall for the foreseeable future, I am pleased to announce he has agreed to focus his LCB activities on helping us increase our Funded Research portfolio.


    Cornelis A. “Kees” de Kluyver, Dean
    Rippey Distinguished Professor
    Lundquist College of Business

    • UO Matters 02/21/2013

      Word from the union hall is that the proposed contract will include a special salary pool to fund special 1% annual bonus for the faculty and adjuncts who have to work for the worst dean. This will be called “The Kees Clause”.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      In some industries, it’s called hazard pay.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      Is there a UO record for former Deans on the payroll of a single college? July 1, biz will have Bean, Howard, Romero and Morse…would be five with Reinmuth had he not been pushed out.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      Nothing legitimizes a blog like a Dean’s announcement. And, I think I’ll join you in that celebration, Kees.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      My Dean is worse than your Dean. Sign A&AA faculty up for the 1% bonus please.

    • Anonymous 02/21/2013

      Sorry, but its not even close. And throw in the suspenders its a no-brainer who the winner is.

  18. Anonymous 02/21/2013

    I’m thrilled that Provost Bean is stepping down. (Thank you, UO Matters.) But this tenured faculty member has no hope whatsoever that his replacement, temporary or permanent, will be any better. My hopes for progress in this administration have been dashed too many times as one piss poor administrator has been replaced with another one. And there are too many slavishly loyal drones waiting in the wings to move in to administrative positions, from Associate Deans on up, for their to be any hope for change around here.

  19. Angry old lady 02/22/2013

    So that guy will be going back to the faculty side….maybe he will use all that research he conjured up during his sabbatical…..

    I’m just loving the last line….”Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.” puke…

    Notice they spit this out and come up with a list that is nothing to our hard working classified staff members. Their output on a daily basis makes his accomplishments pale in comparison.

    I would love to wear the golden boot to shove up his back side and remove his ass entirely from campus.

  20. Anas clypeata 02/24/2013

    “dynamic academic plan”, “dynamic faculty handbook”. Hmm.

    In the words of the great Inigo Montoya: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    • UO Matters 02/24/2013

      And also “There’s not a lot of money in revenge.”

      That said, it’s going to be hard to keep quiet while Gottfredson gives Bean what amounts to another sabbatical – this time at full pay. All because Berdahl gave him a 2-year contract. What was that deal about, anyway?

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