Now w/ docs: Orwell meets Dilbert, from the guy Bean hired as LCB dean

5/13/2013: Anyone go to the Friday LSB faculty meeting about Songlines?


5/2/2013: Updated with contract and invoices at bottom

5/1/2013:

From: “Tracy Bars” tbars@uoregon.edu

To: “LCB Faculty” LCBfaculty@lcbmail.uoregon.edu “LCB Staff”, LCBstaff@lcbmail.uoregon.edu,  “LCB OA’s” LCBOA@lcbmail.uoregon.edu

Cc: “Chris Van Dyke” cwvandy1@mac.com

Subject: May 10th LCB Faculty Staff Meeting Materials and Dean’s Message
LCB Faculty Staff Meeting, Friday, May 10, 10-11:30am, Room 211 Lillis – Agenda Attached
Sent on behalf of Dean de Kluyver
Dear Colleagues:
As the attached agenda attests, the upcoming faculty meeting will be a busy one. To expedite things, I want to take a few minutes to provide background information to agenda item #6 – the marketing/communications project we have initiated with Songlines Communications.
As I shared with you a few weeks ago, an anonymous donor gift allowed us to retain Songlines Communications (Songlines) to “create a unifying brand story that succinctly, elegantly, and emotionally communicates the Lundquist College of Business’ unique identity and differentiates our value proposition from that of our competitors.” The brief stipulated that “the story should help to answer the question “Why Lundquist?” or “Why Oregon’s business school?” relative to all the alternatives. Moreover, it should leverage and blend with the overall University of Oregon brand story/positioning.”
After examining prior research, mining college and UO documents, surveying how other business schools describe their mission and competitive advantage, and conducting more than 40 in-depth interviews with faculty, staff, students, alumni, board members, recruiters, employers, and other stakeholders, we are one step closer to our goal–to develop a brand identity that will:
1.     Provide a clear sense of the Lundquist College’s organizational identity based on our mission, values, culture, core competencies and strategic objectives,
2.     Articulate, in an authentic and compelling way, this identity to external constituencies in a clear and consistent manner,
3.     Serve as a guide for long-term strategic planning and a set of guardrails for “moment of truth” judgments and decision making.
As we begin to digest the findings and recommendations we have received we must remind ourselves that characteristics such as academic excellence, experiential learning, a world-class faculty, or ideas such as a focus on sustainability or global business, while highly desirable, do not differentiate us effectively from our peers. The challenge, therefore, is not only to capture these truths in a brand story, but also to express them in a way that is different, exciting and memorable. Over time, a brand idea that meets these criteria can identify a specific organization without even stating its name.
To this end Songlines has created a number of “Story Themes”–each different in emphasis, representative of a different, unique combination of characteristics, and capable of supporting a broad spectrum of stories that reflect key insights about the Lundquist College of Business. What differs in each is the lead idea or central focus of the theme but all these themes share the over-arching notion of Thought Leadership and have application in all areas of study at the College.
For example, one theme is A New Business Model–the idea that at the Lundquist College of Business we are thought leaders on how to integrate concepts such as responsibility, sustainability and a focus on values into a new business model for the 21st century. Another is the New Oregon Way which leverages the pioneering spirit that characterizes much of Oregon and the UO and emphasizes our reputation in innovation, creativity, and quality of life issues.
In the weeks to come, we will work with Songlines, UO Communications, and our external relations staff to refine the list. As we do so, we should heed Songlines’ advice:
“First, whatever brand theme is ultimately selected, what is most important is that the College “pick a lane” What distinguishes great brands from other institutions is the fact that they know who they are, they embrace a set of values that reflect their unique identity, and they commit to behaviors consistent with who they are and what they believe. In doing so, they also decide who and what they are not. They have, in other words, picked one lane over another. There are consequences to picking a lane, the most important of which is the commitment to stand for something. This commitment is what defines and builds a community. It also builds the power to influence. It engenders loyalty and draws in those who share the point of view. But because these decisions describe what an organization is not, they also alienate. Presented with a clear choice and point of view some people will select the organization and others will not. Committing to a lane requires discipline and courage.
“Second, we strongly recommend that once the college selects a “lane,” it proceed with purpose and confidence. Our research has convinced us that the Lundquist College of Business is special and unique. It offers a combination of educational advantages and opportunities not offered by any other institution. The problem is that not nearly enough people are aware of these strengths. It may be the Oregon Way to be humble and modest, but we would encourage the college to be proud of its curriculum and accomplishments and to express pride in all it communicates to its constituencies.”
We look forward to Songlines’ update and your reactions and suggestions as we move forward with this important project.
Cordially,
Cornelis A. “Kees” de Kluyver, Dean
Encl:    10-MAY-2013 Faculty Staff Meeting Agenda
           08-FEB-2013 Meeting Minutes

Public records updates: The B-school faculty is good for the scotch, right?

From: UO Matters 
Subject: request for Songlines contracts and invoices
 

Date: May 1, 2013 8:34:34 PM PDT 

To: Lisa Thornton Cc: kees@uoregon.edu, Tracy Bars , cwvandy1@mac.com 

Dear Ms Thornton: 

This is a public records request for contracts between UO and Songlines Communications (Songlines) to  

“create a unifying brand story that succinctly, elegantly, and emotionally communicates the Lundquist College of Business’ unique identity and differentiates our value proposition from that of our competitors.”  

And also any invoices, from 1/1/2012 to the present. 

I ask for a public interest fee-waiver on the grounds that making this information public will help  

“leverage and blend with the overall University of Oregon brand story/positioning.”  

I’m ccing LCB Dean Kees de Kluyver, as he should be able to easily provide these documents, without exceeding the one-hour threshold for a fee. 

And, a near instantaneous response from Dean de Kluyver:

On WednesdayMay 1, 2013, at 8:41 PM, Kees de Kluyver wrote to the PR Office, his staff, and the consultant:

Please comply and furnish details as requested.. Kees 

This is a novel and welcome response from a UO administrator. I’m a little embarrassed for being so snarky. You reading this, Randy?

Sure enough, at 9:50 AM Dean de Kluyver sent me the docs, pdf here. No charge, no redactions:

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43 Responses to Now w/ docs: Orwell meets Dilbert, from the guy Bean hired as LCB dean

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Business Unusual” is also the title of a BBC book based on the Doctor Who TV series and of another book with the subtitle “Banking on God,” written by some evangelical zealot. Who knew the LCB honchos were so literate–or devout?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The recommended tag line is “Business Unusual”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think I might drop in on that May 10 meeting. Who’s with me?

    Friday, May 10, 10-11:30am, Room 211 Lillis

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is priceless. I want to help the business school identify a compelling, authentic thought leadership story theme. How about:

    “Bold, New Catchphrases” or

    “Imagining Authentic Integrity” or

    “Committing to the Money Lane”?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea, let’s compete and come up with a better idea than songline (should be easy; as you see they have to interview us first). Let’s make it a present to LCB, so the donation is TRULY wasted.

    • Joe Walsh says:

      They went rushin’ down that freeway,
      messed around and got lost
      They didn’t care they were just dyin’ to get off
      And it was life in the fast lane
      Life in the fast lane

  5. Anonymous says:

    He only sent you the docs because its all donor funded and in his mind that makes him look good. He doesnt have to justify the expense.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “UO – you have completely lost your way…”

    I don’t agree. It’s become “NIKEIZED”. Don’t think so? NIKE doesn’t manufacture particularly good running shoes or other athletic gear. But its marketing and advertising is outstanding. The UO is now trying to follow the same path to success, at least as many, particularly NIKE executives, define “success”. It has some of the finest athletic facilities in the country, notwithstanding the women’s softball facility, the location of which is likely being held in reserve for a new indoor track facility. It fields competitive men’s and women’s athletic teams, many of which achieve national success. It’s adding to the student union and recreation buildings in order to remain competitive in in the arms race as a “safety school” for the children of well-to-do Californians who can afford nonresident tuition and fees. With the assistance of NIKE it’s branded itself with the distinctive “O” and spread the symbol beyond the athletic department to all other university realms. I could go on and on. What is sad, as the anonymous writer above laments, in the process of becoming NIKEIZED the UO is rapidly losing its academic soul. Like NIKE, it’s learned to “sell the sizzle.” Unfortunately, at the UO the sizzle increasingly comes from academic hamburger instead of academic steak. What is even sadder is to contemplate what will happen when the UO gets its own governing board; a board which will no doubt include a top-level NIKE executive and other members of a similar mindset. Good luck with that circumstance.

    • Leporello says:

      “Sell the sizzle” I like it. Did you make that up, or have you been watching Mad Men too much.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “what is most important is that the College “pick a lane” What distinguishes great brands from other institutions is …. Committing to a lane requires discipline and courage”

    (… please, for a moment imagine this precious piece of “advice” being spoken by Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, or Mao. Yes, THINK about it.)

    I will NEVER, never ever submit to a (single) lane. I am a teacher and a researcher. I teach about ALL lanes. I want to learn about ALL lanes. This is a UNIVERSity NOT a SINGULARity. YOU DUMB, PRIMITIVE, UNEDUCATED, @$$%@#^*(&^%!!!!!

    The UO, including LCB, is a SCHOOL. We are NOT a business. We are NOT a corporation. We are NOT a ‘brand’!!! We are measured by academic achievement, not by the hollow, high-flying phrases, failed lawyers and incompetent administrators spew all the time. HARVARD did not become Harvard by picking a ‘brand’ or a lane. If anything they committed to teaching, research, and support of students and faculty first. Then and only then, they achieved a ‘brand’ of excellence. It was the RESULT of their achievement. NOT as we are led to believe here the other way round – by picking a slogan, a lane or whatever.

    How can any intellectual, somewhat educated person buy into this cretinism?? Instead of wasting money, time and effort on ‘branding’ the college – build a new, better, or larger classroom. Better yet: hire and/or retain excellent faculty. Invest in teaching materials and resources. Make sure the kids who pay an arm and a leg to be ‘educated’ here receive the absolute best we can possibly offer. THAT’S where the effort needs to be focused!

    UO – you have completely lost your way….

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Well said.

    • Hedgehog/Fox says:

      Once in a while, amid all the vacuous sloganeering and the petty wrangling and the obliviousness of what passes for educational leadership, a little truth-telling cuts through.

      I’d like to qualify the claim about the “UO” having lost its way, though. A large share of the faculty engage the good fight in our research and scholarship and for the intellectual and ethical growth of our students every day, every hour–against all the vacuous sloganeering and incongruous business-speak from the top. And in spite of what our pay says about our value.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hedgehog/Fox: I agree and I did not mean to include those, my apologies if it came across that way. On the contrary, these faculty staff and students are the substance and the good spirit of this university.

    • Anonymous says:

      The irony of all this is that the Athletic Department, for many the mark of our intellectual decline, is a shining example on this campus of a realized commitment to excellence. This isn’t an endorsement of what our Athletic Department has become but they serve as an example of what could be done if our “leaders” had the same commitment to education and research. Consider the following story and see the unrealized parallels to education in parentheses.

      Sometime in the past couple of decades, those with power inside and outside the University of Oregon decided they wanted to create a top-tier athletic (education/research) university. They created a vision, developed a strategy and gathered the resources. They built stadiums (classrooms), practice facilities (labs) and hired/paid top coaches (faculty).

      That commitment translated into top performance across many sports (disciplines) which translated into national recognition which helped define the “brand”, which flows from substantive performance and values…not repackaging a “story” that has no basis in reality.

      Imagine what we could be today if the same commitment and effort had been applied to our academic mission over the past 15-20 years? I don’t care how loud the administration in bargaining proclaims their commitment to faculty compensation and academic excellence – the words are just empty until their actions back them up.

      Some will argue “Well, donors only want to give to athletics, not academics”. I call bullshit. The UO Development Office budget increased from $2.4M in 2008 to $9.1M in 2013 – more than 300%. During the same period, Athletic Giving doubled ($10M to $20M) and all other gifts were roughly flat. Don’t they work for us? Shouldn’t we be setting the priorities(academic) for them and if they can’t meet them, get people in here who can?

      Our values at UO, as reflected in the budget, are very clear. Newsflash, academics are not at the top of that list.

      Athletics had a plan and they executed it to perfection. If only our other administrators were as competent at doing that.

    • UO Matters says:

      Comment of the week. You get to choose between a “Rob Mullens for Provost” pin or the usual coffee cup.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent comment (“The irony is …”). I totally agree. And the double irony is that the budget increase continues to be paralleled with unnecessary tuition increases, while UO admins squander much needed resources on unnecessary outside consultants and legal fees.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone provide a meritorious attribute that makes our b-school distinct?

    • Anonymous says:

      But of course:

      WANNABE!

    • Anonymous says:

      Desperate?

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many good faculty, staff and students doing good, if not great, work in spite of the inane nonsense spewed forth by the “leadership”. We suffer in silence lest petty tyrants make life here intolerable or, as some have already learned, worse.

      On the bright side, we go through deans about as often as we go through “brand” or strategic planning consultants. We just wait them out and hope they don’t do too much damage.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a real and present danger in waiting out the personnel turnovers. If the “many good faculty, staff and students doing good, if not great, work” don’t also speak up and defend their core values, then at some point it will be too late and irreparable damage will have been done. If nobody speaks up, they get their way and we will be UO Inc. or as pointed out below “NIKEIZED”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree but Those that speak up in that building are sent packing or sent a strong message that it isn’t a good idea, career-wise, to speak up.

      There aren’t many in the ranks, yet, that are willing or able to speak up.

      Maybe we’ll see some actual leadership from Johnson Hall soon.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you’re gonna give him credit for reading his email and responding that quickly with the nonsensical jargon he provides, you can come to only ONE conclusion: he’s sitting at his desk with nothing to do and nowhere to go. (nowhere to run?)

    Brand stories, story themes, picking lanes and from an outfit called Songlines ..?? For crissakes, just write “KDD at UOLCB: The Musical” and get the suspense over with–the suspense being who exactly pens his emails.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well give KDD some credit for (1) reading his email and (2) responding to his email in what I can only say is record time for an administrator. If he sends you the invoices on his own I might give the guy some credit.

  11. Old Man says:

    This is a definitive test for Prexy. If CvD doesn’t have his walking papers by the end of this academic year, I’ll be ready to join the opposition.

  12. Oryx says:

    I wanted to stop reading, but I couldn’t, like watching a car wreck. “Thought leaders” ??! It’s like Orwell meets Dilbert.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m hating this place more and more. Fake. Childish. Object of ridicule.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Exactly! Re: Articulate in an authentic and compelling way…

    Mission accomplished or mission impossible?

  15. Anonymous says:

    “2. Articulate, in an authentic and compelling way, this identity to external constituencies in a clear and consistent manner,…”

    Whahahahaaaaa!!! GAWD! PLEASE let it rain brains from heaven, so this guy can have one too!
    This inarticulate hogwash could be broadcast on comedy central and would probably win a medal (especially if one of the Wayans brothers performs it as convincingly as – lookit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Slxr_JwEA

    Best stand-up material in a long time….

  16. Anonymous says:

    “characteristics such as academic excellence, experiential learning, a world-class faculty, or ideas such as a focus on sustainability or global business, while highly desirable, do not differentiate us effectively from our peers”

    BUT

    “we are thought leaders on how to integrate concepts such as responsibility, sustainability and a focus on values into a new business model for the 21st century”

    AND

    “the New Oregon Way which leverages the pioneering spirit that characterizes much of Oregon and the UO and emphasizes our reputation in innovation, creativity, and quality of life issues.”

    Those ARE differentiating?!?

    Fucking brilliant! You gotta give props to anyone that can get paid for that nonsense.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Create your own brand strategy here:

    http://www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator.html

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Choose a lane”? Fuck it Donny, lets go bowling.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Complete nonsense.I sure hope the B-School faculty get to dress up in their finest Nike gear and sit atop a wagon train. Perhaps there would be less of a need for a brand message if someone was actually running the store and running the B-School. How is that MBA program doing after all? Is that tuition increase working out? How about some answers to that……

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