Espy surveys faculty, hoping to get OK for more admin bloat

I went through the survey in the email below. It reads like an insulting push-poll, designed to collect responses that will justify hiring more RIGE administrators to coordinate research aimed at local businesses, and work with local government development offices. This is not a bad idea, but for the fact that there’s not much trust left in Espy’s ability to administer such an effort, or in Gottfredson’s ability to administer Espy.

A message from University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson & Vice President for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate School Kimberly Andrews Espy: 

At the University of Oregon, we view promoting Oregon’s long-term economic well-being as a key component of our mission.

To help serve this mission, we are writing to ask you, our faculty and staff, to take a few minutes to complete a survey [link deleted, check your email] that will help us focus on our economic engagement in the community, region, and state.

As part of a national effort to strengthen understanding of the economic impact that results from strong partnerships between research universities and their communities, we are engaged in a process of assessing and evaluating the University of Oregon’s economic engagement activities. Doing so will:

  • Help us to quantify our economic engagement efforts to date and build a baseline for the future.
  • Identify strategies to build on our current impact.
  • Develop a shared understanding and appreciation with the campus, community and region about the university’s economic engagement activities.

This effort is led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The process involves a survey of internal and external stakeholders, self-study and a planning process through May 2014. If successful the University of Oregon will earn a designation by the APLU as an “economically engaged university.” The process allows the UO to create a framework for the university and our stakeholders to evaluate and plan for the future.


Please take a few minutes to help us plan for the future by taking the survey.


We are proud of the UO’s continuing contributions to Oregon’s economy. Some of the ways we are committed to increasing our impact include the following:

We are appealing to you, our internal stakeholders, for assistance in assessing current efforts and identifying opportunities to strengthen our impact. We believe this process will benefit the university by helping improve the UO’s economic impact, and the state by helping us to focus on pressing regional needs. Please take five minute to complete this short 20 question survey. Thank you for your assistance.


Please contact Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation Pat Jones at with questions.

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10 Responses to Espy surveys faculty, hoping to get OK for more admin bloat

  1. from the AAU says:

    to a regional trade school, in just 20 years.

  2. Old Man says:

    The best way for the University’s research to benefit the local economy is to be GOOD and to let economic stimulus be the serendipitous consequence of that quality. I did not find that option in the survey. Sad.

  3. I didn't get that email says:

    Must have gone to spam.

  4. anon-3 says:

    I do not trust these clowns. My guess is the survey is linked to your email address so they can identify additional muckraking PIs for blacklisting.

  5. Vote? says:

    I don’t see a vote of no confidence on the Senate’s agenda. What’s the holdup?

  6. BuzzKill says:

    From someone who should know how to construct surveys, what an embarrassment. Useful only for social science methods classes to demonstrate how not to do it (homework: Find all leading questions.). But what else to expect from a VP for Research whose main concern is not research, but (self-) marketing.

  7. it's copied says:

    from an old Association of Land Grant universities template. And yes, it looks like Espy can link your response to your email address.

  8. uomatters says:

    No cite? Whatever. Worse, it’s at least 70 wordy, repetitive, leading questions, not the 20 advertised in the email.

  9. anon-3 says:

    This is typical of UO admin bullshite ideas that are disruptive and time wasting. Send out an email to PIs asking for help to complete a brief survey aiming to seek critical information to help UO improve. Then make the survey anything but brief and full of useless questions.

    Don’t you idiots know I am already too busy trying to determine last date of attendance for some student in a class from a previous term?