Gottfredson’s secret performance review included secret 5-year budget forecasts

8/6/2013: It now takes months and hundreds of dollars to get public records from UO. OUS is quicker, but often no cheaper. Both adjust their pace to the politics. And apparently Gottfredson’s performance has now become a political issue for OUS.

I sent OUS a follow-up request for information about President Gottfredson’s performance review on Saturday. On Monday I got a call from their public records officer, Chuck Triplett, and he sent me this pdf showing the information they asked Gottfredson and the other OUS presidents to submit for their evaluations.

The meat – which Gottfredson and VPFA Jamie Moffitt have hidden from the faculty, while telling us and UO’s academic accreditors that they are being transparent about financial information, is in bold:

On February 15, 2013, the Governance and Policy Committee further clarified that OUS presidents should address the following topics in their annual Executive Session evaluation discussions with the Board:   

1. Progress toward meeting Board goals and 40-40-20
2. Connections with other universities, K-12, and community colleges
3. Progress toward meeting the president’s goals for the year
4. Big issues on campus in the past year
5. Major achievements and critical challenges in the past year
6. Opportunities for the future and clouds on the horizon
7. Hopes and goals for the upcoming year
8. 5-yr financial forecast for the education and general fund complete with projected enrollment, tuition, cost, and fund balance

I’m still trying to find out if Gottfredson made any effort to solicit feedback from the UO community regarding his performance. Triplett says OUS has no record of that.

8/3/2013: OK, they won’t show us the results of President Gottfredson’s evaluation, but at least the questions are public records. Right?

Dear Mr. Triplett: 

On July 30th I made a public records request to you, asking for UO President Gottfredson’s 2013 self-evaluation and for the Chancellor’s evaluation of his performance. Thank you for the prompt response saying that your office would not release these, on the grounds that they are confidential faculty records. This is a follow-up to that request.
I am asking for public records that show: 

a) Emails, letters, or other documents showing communications between your office and President Gottfredson or his staff, on whether or not OUS should release his self-evaluation or the Chancellor’s evaluation, in response to my 7/30 request. 

b) Documents showing what information OUS asked President Gottfredson to provide for his self-evaluation, and what questions or issues he was asked to address. 

c) Any emails, survey forms or other communications from OUS asking for input on President Gottfredson’s performance review.  

For b) and c) I am not asking for responses, just for documents showing how OUS conducted their evaluation of President Gottfredson, such as what questions were asked and who was invited to participate. 

I ask that these documents be redacted only to the minimal extent allowable by law. I request a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, in evidence of which I note that these sorts of documents are often made public by the President, e.g. the evaluation for the University of Kentucky President, at I also note that information on faculty performance, e.g. student teaching reviews, is often made public at no charge. 

8/1/2013: That was quick. Presumably this means they asked President Gottfredson if he wanted to make his evaluation public, and he said no. I’d email him myself, but he doesn’t answer emails. Maybe a reporter will ask next time he talks to the press. Oh, right, Gottfredson doesn’t talk to reporters either.

The Oregon University System, Office of the Chancellor is in receipt of your July 30, 2013 public records request for “…a copy of UO President’s Gottfredson’s 2013 self-evaluation and the OUS Chancellor’s written performance evaluation discussed in section 7 of his contract…”   The Oregon University System respectfully declines to provide any records pursuant to this request.  Evaluation materials, including self-evaluation
documents, are confidential faculty records under Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 580, Division 22, section 60 through 125.  Faculty records as described under these administrative rules are not public records under law.  (See Oregon Revised Statute 351.065(12):  “Any category of personnel records specifically designated as confidential pursuant to valid rules or orders pursuant to this section is not a public record for the purposes of ORS 192.420.”)  The Chancellor’s Office treats the presidential personnel file, including evaluation documents, as confidential faculty records not subject to disclosure.


Charles L. Triplett III
Secretary of the Board
Oregon University System
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

7/30/2013: His self evaluation was due June 1, and interim Chancellor Rose’s report is presumably complete by now. From his contract with OUS:

At many universities these are public as a matter of course. The first year evaluation for President Eli Capilouto at the University of Kentucky is a good example. 44 page report here:

I’m on the UO Senate, I don’t remember hearing a word about an evaluation for President Gottfredson. So let’s see what’s out there, with a public records request to OUS:

Dear Mr. Triplett

This is a public records request for a copy of UO President’s Gottfredson’s 2013 self-evaluation and the OUS Chancellor’s written performance evaluation discussed in section 7 of his contract, available here:
I ask that these documents be redacted only to the minimal extent allowable by law. I request a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, in evidence of which I note that these sorts of documents are often made public by the President, e.g. the evaluation for the University of Kentucky President, at

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15 Responses to Gottfredson’s secret performance review included secret 5-year budget forecasts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Has Scott Coltraine’s performance ever been reviewed? I assume his past performance as dean was a factor in elevating him to acting provost. Was the judgment of his past performance based on an objective review, as is required every three years of every administrator? Or did he continue the grand tradition of Palm, Stone, etc and avoid any evaluation of his performance?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. He was very thoroughly reviewed just this year in a public process that collected feedback from many different constituencies.

    • Anonymous says:



    • joe stone says:

      to earlier anonymous, I’m not able to speak for anyone but myself, but I was more than happy to have my performance as CAS dean formally reviewed, which it was,in much the same manner as last year’s review for the current CAS dean. If anyone who has claimed on this blog that there was no formal review wishes to arrange by email to meet me at my PLC office (PLC 420), I will happily share the names of the senior faculty who served as the review oversight committee and who can confirm the review. Otherwise, I would again like to thank all the CAS faculty during those years for the privilege of serving as your dean. sincerely, Joe Stone

    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks for posting this Joe.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the names of the prof that conducted the review – like the review itself – are a secret, known only to Joe Stone, that he reveals at his discretion? I wish my course evaluations worked on the same principle — email me and come to my office if you want to see them. Who chaired Coltraine’s evaluation? When do we see the results, or do we rely on statements on U o O Matters? Do we need his permission to find out what they said? Don’t give me the usual BS about confidentiality. Any prof’s student evaluations are publicly available.

    • UO Matters says:

      Are you talking about current UO President Mike Gottfredson’s secret review?

      Because you raise some interesting questions about faculty input. Gottfredson might want to keep the review results secret – I can’t imagine why – but the names of the people who were asked to provide input, and the questions they were asked, must be public records. I’m happen to make the request for them, if you’re not willing to do it yourself.

      Or are you just trying to change the subject from Gottfredson to former CAS Dean Joe Stone, who stepped down years ago?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am raising questions about the current practice. Risa Palm resigned rather than undergo an open review. Since then, admn, when they have submitted to reviews, which is seldom, have done so under the cloak of secrecy. This is in contrast to previous practice; Myles Brand underwent a complete, open review of his performance after three years, with the results published in the Emerald. So, I guess in Joe’s case, if I email him, go to his office, he will divulge the names of the people that conducted the review. Thanks, Joe – why all the secrecy? Yes, the issue is Gottfredson, but more than that the current practice of adm reviews. Why doesnt Joe join us in asking that all of this be a matter of open public record, as it is at other universities?

    • UO Matters says:

      OK, I’ll go ahead and ask Chuck Triplett at OUS for docs on their procedures for the Gottfredson review.

      For Coltrane et al., there’s a Senate resolution and a policy under development on how JH reviews administrators. It was my motion, I’m on the committee, a report will be presented to the Senate in the fall, and I’ll keep people posted.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So Coltrane got reviewed with faculty input, but not Gottfredson? Weird.

    • Anonymous says:


      Coltrane’s review was mostly positive but not exactly stellar.
      The main comment on this was his consistency to be cautious and
      not exercise initiative. He is a good minder of the store but
      does not want to change the store front. But this seems to be
      typical for any UO admin over the last 20,30,40,50, 137 years?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Re Gottfredson’s review: “Being There”–the Sequel

  4. joe stone says:

    To UOM, sounds like a good plan. Go for it.
    Now to saturday Earlier anonymous (EA), (EA) made a false claim anout me by name on this blog that I was not reviewed as dean, but prefers to attack again and distract attention away from the fact that the claim was false rather than simply admit error and move on. Call me stupid for engaging again. The review committee and reappointment process were all publicly announced at the time. The review committee was never a secret, but IMHO it is neither my place nor EAs to drag names out on this blog years and years later.To what purpose? other than to grind EAs axe on a long-departed dean. Some are now retired after many years of service, including me. In the midst of all the current difficulties, I doubt anyone else really cares now, As for EA’s call for me to state my position on reviews of administrators, I’m retired, and excuse me, owe EA nothing. I responded initially only to call out the false claim that mentioned me by name. I doubt anyone else really cares. That said, you may note if you choose, my endorsement of the UOM ibitiative at the beginning and my long-standing position in support of requiring reviews on the now standard, 3 and 6 year schedule for all CAS faculty, including administrators, which was codified in the CAS faculty handbook at my own personal initiative and in consultation with faculty. Now, EA, please permit me a peaceful retirement. Thank you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The issue, as I said in post 8/3, is current practice. It is not Stone’s performance as dean, about which, I agree, no one cares. The requirement for reviews of adm was in place long before Stone tinkered with the CAS handbook; it was just ignored. I was not aware of his strong feelings about adm reviews, anymore than I was aware that he had been reviewed himself. He certainly did not speak up during the debate over Risa Palm’s evaluation (he was her assoc dean at the time), nor did he speak up over the calls for Frohnmayer’s evaluation. But I agree, let’s move on. When do we see the results of Coltraine’s review?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      To me its not the issue of anonymity, secret views, etc, that I find questionable but rather, its the pro-forma nature of the reviews. In my experience a) they are not critical views b) the criteria is mostly pablum c) idiosyncratic rather than systematic reposes usually dominated and d) faculty involved are usually timid.

      For Coltrane at least the survey part of that review had some decent questions but the response distribution was not given much attention.

      One of the simplest criteria for review is something like: Is the institution/department/division in a better place before or after this person was hired. In the case of Tomlin, that has an easy answer. In the case of
      Risa Palm, who introduced the three-headed deanlet (thus serving to further polarize CAS in my opinion) that review would have been only slightly less negative for her than Tomlin.

      But, and this is the part not done – a criteria needs to be developed for defining “better off” or “worse off” and we just don’t bother with that here and/or make excuses/rationalizations to ward off direct criticism.

      Indeed, for those old timers longer on this blog I pose the following question:

      Is the UO better off or worse off than it was say, in 1995?

      Let me just couch that in terms of relevant questions:

      1. Do we have a better and more fair budget model now than then?
      2. Have we produced new degree programs that better engage students now than back then?
      3. Is the football team better?
      4. Are UO faculty treated better by JH now, compared to then?
      5. Do we have better teaching facilities now, compared to then?
      6. Is your faculty pay comparatively better now, compared to then?
      7. Is there increased functionality within CAS (and the other units) now compared to then?
      8. How’s parking ….

      I don’t declare that the above list is the right set of questions to ask but some set needs to be thought about and used if we are to have a proper set of longitudinal evaluations. For all I know, the answer to the above questions are all Yes – if so, then we have made real progress. In the answer to any such question is NO then some internal evaluation needs to happen to turn that
      NO into a yes.

      Well its Sunday and this is a sermon – my view is that any time over the last 20 years the UO always claims its excellent by confusing, deliberately, mediocrity with excellence to avoid confronting real issues.