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UO Senate to Gottfredson: “Asked, and answered”

Last updated on 05/13/2014

5/12/2014 Update: By an accident of history, President Gottfredson’s Q&A about the latest athletic scandal at the upcoming Wednesday May 14 Senate meeting will come on the anniversary of his first sustained interaction with the UO faculty, the infamous 2013 “asked and answered” debacle. (Yes, he managed to wait almost 10 months after taking office to meet the UO faculty.)

Since then, it’s been all downhill. I know there are those counseling we wait for the UO Board to deal with this disastrous president, and maybe they’re right. (Although I doubt that’s the message the alumni and parents are sending.) But here’s a little history to support the argument that enough is enough, and that if we don’t get answers from Gottfredson on Wednesday, we should hold an immediate vote of no-confidence:

5/14/2013: President Gottfredson’s first talk with UO faculty goes very badly.

Update on the shared governance “conversation” with President Gottfredson:

Our president’s most common response to the faculty is now a curt “read my written remarks” or “asked and answered”, a phrase lawyers use to semi-politely insult each other, when objecting to a question in court.

For the white-bread, comment free take on the meeting, check out “Around the 0”:

During an informal meeting in Gerlinger Alumni Lounge, the president provided an update and answered questions regarding two bills in the Oregon Legislature that would reorganize higher education governance and create boards for the UO and other public universities in Oregon that request them.

After Gottfredson unloaded on the staff representative who asked a direct question in the Senate last week, Dave Hubin made a special effort to seek him out and apologize. Sounds like Dave has his work cut out for him. Thanks to five UO Matters stringers for their notes, which I’ve combined below:


3:56: Twenty folks present.
3:57: Hubin and President Gottfredson arrive.
4:09. Now up to about 120 people.
4:13: Welcome from Hubin.

4:14: Gottfredson takes the stage and introduces his team, which includes Geller, Moffitt, Bean and ?.

Pres expounds on the history of the UO and the State system, saying UO is a Land-Grant College. Nope, that would be OSU, Mr. President. “Watershed moment, momentous.” Repeat 3x and click your heels. Then tells of reduced State support (projected to be 5% next year).  This, unlike the Land Grant origin of the UO, was probably not news to anyone there.

Then some REAL news: UO is one of the world’s great public research universities! However, I think that was believed about as much as the land grant origin of UO. (Too bad, because the UO showed some real promise for a while.)

Leads us through his 2-page hand out on the Local Board. Emphasized that, in every respect, The University would gain from the change. Of course Gottfredson’s definition of The University is a little narrower than what the philosophes had in mind.

4:52:  Gottfredson finally closes his canned remarks, and invites questions from the floor.

First off was a Q from Jane Cramer (PoliSci). MG interrupted her polite lead-in and didn’t even allow her to frame her question (which was clearly about the CBA, but he cut her off before she should mention the CBA).  He then refused to go back to her for a follow up, calling on Frank Stahl (DNA) instead.

That was a mistake:

“Mike, we are cheered by your avowed support for shared governance. As you must be aware, shared governance works only when there is a document defining the procedures by which agreements can be reached and disagreements settled. The UO Constitution is such a document. It currently enjoys the protection of State Board policy requiring that any changes in it be ratified by the relevant parties (i.e., the President and the Statutory Faculty). What steps will you take to ensure that the same protection of our existing Constitution be provided by a local Board, should the University get one?”

MG’s response?: Go home Frank.

Stahl then descended to our President’s level and a shouting match ensued. Bottom line: the UO Constitution is dead if Gottfredson has his way. Frank was of course out of line. That’s why we pay him the big emeritus bucks. But MG managed to be worse. Stupid.

Michael Dreiling then raised the Constitution issue in the context of the Union/Administration CBA.

Gottfredson’s response: Issues of governance have no place in the CBA, period. Ignoring the CBAs of several other universities.

Margie Paris asked a softball question, but MG didn’t do much with that gift.

From the floor, apparently an SEIU member: Why no classified staff member on the Board? In response, MG didn’t even make eye contact with the questioner, but pointed looked the exact opposite direction in the room while he dissed his question. MG then droned on about how important it was to have faculty and student representation.  Since this was not an answer to the question, the guy pressed:  and got anodyne stuff (yeah, me too, google it) about how it’s important not to have “designated membership” or some such jargony phrase; this was presumed to mean that we don’t want to stipulate one of X, one of Y, one of Z all the way across (Best to leave it to the Guv.)

But the result there too was to totally ignore the actual question about classified staff representation.  And the SEIU guy was very clearly asking for Gottfredson’s rationale for not having one, which these non-answers did even gesture toward.  The result was so insulting that there was a little mutiny of hands up and murmuring from across the room among those who were clearly classified staff. (My father’s advice when I got hired at UO: Always respect the staff, never teach in the summer, and don’t trust those bastards in the central administration. Three out of three, Dad.)

All in all, with both classified staff and faculty, MG clearly had no notion that his audience was people who work here, know one or two things about our “land-grant” status and the Morrill Act, state funding levels and the like.  And he was both unprepared to answer questions and too thin-skinned to try being honest on the fly.

5:20: Most of the faculty has fled. Maybe 10% of the original crowd stays for the traditional post conversation brown-nosing with the man who can double your salary. Mike “The University” Gottfredson, Jim “Big Five” Bean, and Dave Hubin, plus two or three faculty, or maybe food-service. BTW, the food was a bust too. No disrespect to UO food service staff, but I imagine the Football Operations Sous Chef puts out a better and significantly more expensive spread whenever Gottfredson shows up there.

5:22: Your Reporters split.

My question to President Gottfredson: [5/12/2014 update: In retrospect, I was wrong with this below. I give the new Board full credit for transparency. There were some rough spots because of Randy Geller, but the board fixed them, and the also probably get credit for encouraging Gottfredson to fire Geller Geller to find gainful employment somewhere else.]

From: Bill Harbaugh

Subject: Question about UO Board legislation

Date: May 13, 2013 12:01:05 PM PDT
To: President Gottfredson
Cc: David Hubin , Randy Geller , doug park , Kron Michael Michael C , [email protected], [email protected], Robert Kyr , Margie Paris

Dear President Gottfredson:
I have a question regarding the proposed independent board legislation, which I hope you will answer by email – I’ll be unable to attend the governance meeting in Gerlingher tomorrow.

What I think is the latest draft of the legislation, at, says:

“SECTION 2a. A university with a governing board is a governmental entity performing governmental functions and exercising governmental powers. A university with a governing board is not
considered a unit of local or municipal government or a state agency,
board, commission or institution for purposes of state statutes or
constitutional provisions. …

I am wondering if this legislation will affect UO’s obligations under the public records and meetings law, if the UO Board will also be subject to these laws, and if the responsibility for handling appeals of Public Records denials from UO or the board will shift from the Lane County DA to the State DOJ or to another office.

Thank you,
Bill Harbaugh
UO Prof. of Economics

No response yet. Call me naive, but I’m finally beginning to get a little suspicious abut President Gottfredson’s intentions.

5/13/2013: Gottfredson’s compensation is ~10% above comparators:

We all know UO faculty salaries are bad. Check here to see how far you are behind your peers. But the UO salary news isn’t grim for everyone. The Chronicle just reported salaries for 212 presidents and chancellors at public research universities, for 2011. The median total compensation (includes deferred) is $400,000. President Gottfredson’s contract is here. His starting pay was $440K, plus $100K deferred, plus ORP at about $63K, plus $14.4K for a car, plus use of McMorran house or Treetops, worth say $36K – below market, but he’s gotta use it for entertaining too. So, including ORP his total comp is about $653K. Leaving out the house and car, it’s $603K.

Average compensation at our AAU comparators is $612K. Of course that includes many presidents with years on the job. If you leave out IU and Michigan, where the presidents run entire systems, the average is $553K.

The problem in a nutshell? It’s all about who you look up too:



  1. Anonymous 05/13/2013

    You’re an economist. Explain why the union backed down on our equity raises.

    • Anonymous 05/13/2013

      The union has not taken a hard position on anything yet, have they? Their initial salary proposal was far short of what I was hoping for. Now we’ll be lucky if we get increases that match projected inflation, never mind the real losses we’ve experienced over the last ten years.

      Can someone from the union chime in here on why they are so soft? I hope you’re not faling for Gleason’s “Trust us” line. Surely not.

    • UO Matters 05/13/2013

      Jamie Moffitt and Tim Gleason offered to take me to the bowl game this year, so I sold out. Go Ducks!

  2. Anonymous 05/13/2013

    From the door of JH offices, I can hear them all muttering, “You know, we should really do something about this. We have to stay competitive, you know.” Thus, they will increase their admin salaries all the more, with no regard whatsoever for their historically piss-poor trampling over faculty (i.e., those who actually run this place) on the same dimension.

    I’ve heard that the admins at OSU monitor this blog. If they wanted to, they could likely pick off a bunch of us who do enjoy living here but would rather leave UO to its precipitous decline. Their Pres gets paid rather well. Although, the do appear to regard academics much more highly, so maybe it follows.

  3. Anonymous 05/13/2013

    I love it. If you search for Oregon, it also provides detail on similar colleges. Our? Alabama, Maine, West Virginia, Wyoming, Louisville. How’d you like that?

  4. Anonymous 05/13/2013

    I hope Gottfredson and the rest of Johnson Hall have a good time at his investiture ceremony. I’m sure as hell not going.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Or we can go and turn our backs…..

  5. Anonymous 05/13/2013

    Cars parking places, housing, clothing allowances etc, seem to be pretty common compensation for top level admins. I definitely don’t agree with that sort of compensation but to white wash over that is ignoring reality. IE this an apple to oranges comparison.

    Realistically, the education system is the next bubble. The current model is out of wack and not sustainable. Even the former Secretary of Education says most colleges aren’t worth the money ( Oregon is just an example of an systematic problem.

    • UO Matters 05/13/2013

      Not sure I understand apples to oranges. The comparator compensation numbers do not include cars, housing, or other perks, nor does the $603K figure for Gottfredson.

  6. Anonymous 05/14/2013

    This is the same Gott that is saying we don’t deserve equity increases? Hubris.

  7. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    Here is how the gathering on Board Governance was described by President’s Office:

    “President Michael Gottfredson invites faculty and staff to join him for an informal gathering to discuss the University of Oregon’s governance structure as a public university within the state of Oregon.”

    False advertising. There was no desire by our President to engage in hard discussion on these issues. After a long, rambling, sometimes incoherent talk (side note: I found a cure for insomnia and has anyone noticed he talks like David Spade’s impression of George Bush Sr.? “Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent”), President Gottfredson was embarrassingly dismissive of the 4 faculty he allowed to ask questions. He did not answer a single question with anything of substance – choosing instead to obfuscate and deflect. He then had the gall, after failing to answer a question, to dismiss the questioner by saying “Asked and answered, thank you” and quickly left the podium to “mingle”. By that point, most of the disgusted faculty had left the room and he was left to mingle with his own administrators.

    He claimed his remarks earlier this year on shared governance should be enough for us to believe in his commitment to those principles. When challenged that we needed actions from him, not rhetoric, he dismissed the comment but failed to provide examples.
    What I saw from most faculty/staff there was stunned silence at the insult.

    He is a politician of the worse kind in public – never commit, never take a stand, never take a risk. He completely fails as a leader internally. He was openly dismissive of faculty interests and seems to have no idea, or care about, what faculty are concerned with. I have no confidence or trust that he has faculty, staff or student’s interests at heart.

    I think the jury is in on this guy.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Holy shit. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time. (Thanks to those who did try to engage on my behalf.) Next up? Use this as evidence of him listening to faculty. Blah blah blah.

      I think I might take my raise in sunshine tomorrow afternoon.

    • Aweosme0 05/15/2013

      Hate to rain on your parade…

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Asked and answered? Are you kidding?

      I see new buttons, or t-shirts. Where’s my spray paint?

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      This was a disaster.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      I was there too. Anonymous above has it exactly right. Bad speech, poorly delivered. Worse, he just dusted off what is clearly his usual boilerplate on the subject. Nothing of what he droned on about for 45 minutes was appropriately aimed at his invited audience–faculty and staff here. Then his handling of the questions–which were challenging, but in entirely predictably ways–he showed himself unprepared (for the most obvious questions) and dismissive to the point of insulting, to both the rude and the most polite questioners equally. He didn’t mingle before or after. And there weren’t even chairs for anybody to sit on while he droned. Wow!

      I went just to see this guy, and it’s WAY worse than I’d expected. Total flunk.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Why did he even have this thing? He’s completely tone deaf if he thought he was going to show up, give the dog and pony show, field a few softballs and call it a night. So why have it at all? Nobody is buying that he wants any meaningful dialogue with or feedback from faculty so there is no upside here.

      Unless he is just out of touch.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Yesterday was a travesty and fiasco. Wow. I pitied our Prez.because he seemed so pitiful–so incapable of even talking to his colleagues. He seemed scared. Arrogant too. But he looked trapped, like he was not allowed to actually talk to faculty. He rambled on so long, clearly “killing time,” and then rudely cut-off and dismissed each question.
      I thought I fully supported an independent board, but now I think it will be much worse for the UO. Our current antagonistic board seems bad for the UO, but to have even less public oversight and transparency with an independent, secret corporate-style board (as he clearly was describing)is worse, not better. Too bad.
      He is foolish to not try to gain faculty support for his board. We could help him, but now we just want to undermine him.
      Many of our former students work in Salem. Does he not realize how small this state is? Does he not realize that we know how to use our political voice whether he likes it or not?

      • chuck 05/12/2014

        Independence never had anything to do with getting faculty on board, nor was it for better management, nor any other nonsense peddled by those that want to make a buck off the public trough. It was about getting the bonds and projects, in order to continue the public subsidy of construction firms and Wall Street money temples. Pretty much what took place the last 30 years with local/state debt financing, rather than using the ‘pay as you go’ tax system, which is far more efficient, but not an effective subsidy for the above mentioned economic entities.

        For example, U of O is a smaller version of the mechanism used by Orange County back in the 90’s, private interests hijack public agencies, flack the idea that good debt should be used instead of bad taxes, lard up on public bonds, take your administrative skim off the top, give construction contracts to cronies, wait for inevitable collapse, claim that pesky public employees are too expensive to keep on the payroll, fire a bunch of them, rinse and repeat.

        Pretty much the same method currently being pursued by U of O, no one should be surprised by the high handed manner that faculty are being treated. Within the mechanism, growing numbers of faculty are expendable, therefore not worth the time to even create a coherent response to vital issues. It’s apparent, if history is your guide. Same as it always was…..

  8. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    Does the union have the Salem mojo to stop Knight?

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      No, but students, faculty, and staff do if they form a united front and head to Salem on a school day, call the field trip the Real University of Oregon Day (the Administration already made the trip as the U of O).

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Faculty who are members of United Academics are up in Salem testifying this very testifying. There will be lobby day coming up soon, so if you’d join the effort, I’m sure they’d be grateful. Here’s their phone number: 541.636.4714

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Sorry, “testifying this very afternoon.”

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      The Union (UA) was not taking a position on the independent board because many faculty thought it was good, although some thought it would just be a Knight-style corporate takeover to be sure, but no one agreed. Many people seemed to want an independent board IF it had faculty, student and staff voting members (not with veto power, just with some leverage and voice on the board for public oversight/shared governance purposes.) Now, faculty seem to distrust the independent board proposal. Our President can say we are a public institution, with the “public interest” mission as he said yesterday, but if he advocates for a corporate-style, secret board, with everyone just “employees” with no voice in running the University, then he simply does not get the “public interest” mission we all believe in, and the “shared governance” style of running the University we know we need to maintain an excellent, public University, in the “public interest.”
      The University is not a corporation, and top-down management, in a “for profit” style will not be good for our students, our “public interest” research, or our community.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Phil Knight directed how the legislation was drafted, he has openly threatened legislators if it does not make it out of the legislature, the faculty member is non-voting (Knight previously demanded no faculy), and he has insisted that there be no further clarifying amendments in the remainder of the process. Members do not have to be Oregonians. This was allegedly about knowing the institution and reflecting the community. This is a snow-job of mammoth proportions. This will be bad for the institution, bad for the state, bad for students, and good for those billionaires that think public assets can be bought and sold. Faculty/students/staff/concerned citizens need to engage.

      • chuck 05/13/2014

        I guess the AD wasn’t kidding when he said that it was University of Nike….

    • UO Matters 05/15/2013

      Did Rudnick and HLGR draft the legislation for Knight? Probably, they did the deal for his special session tax breaks. We’re screwed.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      If you think the way forward is to leave the university’s fate in the hands of political appointees with little understanding of the university, to have UO continue to subsidize other institutions at a level that keeps substantial private donors from contributing, to make it impossible for the UO to borrow money or to design regulations more in keeping with its own needs than OARs, and to keep itself afloat fiscally through high tuition increases (which is the default alternative as state support continues to decline and substantial private funds are kept at bay), then by all means oppose an independent board. After all, we know what terrible things such boards have done at such inferior institutions as the University of Texas and Stanford University.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      I’ve seen this comparison to UT and Stanford before and it’s a nonsense. We are not close to either in any way and probably never will be.

      Please explain how the proposed legislation protects the University from a different set of political appointees who could also have little understanding of the University. Please explain how the legislation guarantees protection if the academic mission, as best expressed and understood by those who really know best – the faculty, is not shared by this new board whose goals could easily diverge from that mission.

      I don’t think commenters are opposed to an independent board in principle, for many if the reasons you cite. They are deeply concerned that the legislation is written such that any faculty governance is a vote away from disappearing and that our supposed leader has shown no inclination to preserve those governance principles and practices.

    • UO Matters 05/16/2013

      Comment of the week. Let me know where to send your UO Matters coffee cup.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      To Anon three posts up, get another example.
      first UT is part of a system (or is a system)

      They won some independence but it is not going well.

      Unlike the UO it looks like they have a working public records office

      The Nike board would have none of these problems.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      And stop using Stanford and elite private schools they are by definition independent. The Nike board is nothing like the UO.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      For about 130 years the UO has been in the hands of the faculty, the president, and the people of Oregon. It is a Public State School. The Board will continue to be appointed by the governor so why will the board be different? Oh yea, currently two faculty and two students are required to be voting members of the Board and there will be more on the UO board. That is the only difference on the board so I do not see how Nike board will have more understanding.

      Oh, and the Faculty senate will have NO shared governance rights. The board can change the rules at will.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      Please point to the financials where the ” UO continue to subsidize other institutions at a level that keeps substantial private donors from contributing”

      UO gets the same dollars per resident student that every other school gets. Tuition does not leave the school. This is the funding model the UO wanted. The UO also gets all the capital bonding and interest from the state that they ask for. When was the last time, or any time, that they were denied their massive concrete ediphallus to their own ego? Including Matt Court bonds or that thing erect’ed out by Autzen.

      Which brings me to, what donors? Because unlike the rumors no donor showed up to cover the full cost of the Arena.

      what little money that did come in was put in a fund at the Athletic Foundation and with inflated revenue estimates, leasing Mac court, empty parking lots with gates on them the state/(future students) are on the hook to pay it off with annual tuition hikes.

      If Phil is really going to give two billion dollars to buy the school… Hey, Phil, Just Do It!

      Oh, and why wouldn’t these selfless, magnanimous, God’s among men give to the UO if it is for the good of all Oregon students public education?

      They are not doing for themselves, they are doing it for the children right?

  9. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    I know where this is headed, I’ve seen this kind before. Sad. I’m gonna boycott the inauguration. It just wouldn’t be prudent …

  10. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    Total fiasco. He doesn’t get my vote of confidence. I’m boycotting the ceremony: not that he and his kind would care anyway….

  11. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    Now I know why he hides in his office all the time….

  12. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    I did not support the formation of the Union and am skeptical about where it will lead us [the faculty, students, staff] over the next decade.

    I do recall a recent UO President telling me that the atmosphere at UO was ‘poisonous’. He was referring to the role of UOM. But these recent exchanges make it abundantly clear that the frustrations that led to the vote to unionize and the profound skepticism among the university community about the central administration [which UOM chronicles but does not direct] have not in any way been ameliorated by the arrival of MG. Indeed quite the contrary.

    If MG cannot find a way to engage the University Community more constructively than he has done so far, I fear the situation will quickly deteriorate further.

    And what is really a downer is the fact that those who were so recently ‘among the faculty’ [Blandy, Altman, etc.] and who might be expected to have a better sense of the problem and to articulate as much to MG seem firmly on the same path tread by Tomlin. There is nothing like a big salary increase to confirm that going to Johnson Hall provides entry to the “Enlightened Denizens” who seek to manage our academic lives and do so poorly at it.

    Canis Minor, not the brightest constellation in the heavens

    • Hedgehog/Fox 05/15/2013

      I can agree with one part of this: someone needs to stand the gap, preferably a fairly large group of people. The breach that has opened up, and which is essentially a loss of trust and respect, serves no one. The union and the administration are in a naturally adversarial bargaining process–no help there. UO Matters plays the muckraker role–no help there. The administration and its salaried players seem united in their impatience and lack of sympathy or even understanding–certainly in the incomprehensible clumsiness of their communication. This situation damages everyone.

      I do believe that this Anonymous could be right: action to right the ship must come from leadership, and there are faculty drawing administrative salaries who nevertheless might want to take some risks and find a middle, start speaking respectfully and with comprehension and sympathy, and stay focused on bringing people together. Anonymous has named some of them. There is certainly some hope in the new Provost moving over from CAS. On the side of the disappointed and suspicious faculty, some people are going to have to step in, make themselves vulnerable, get beat up, and persevere. At least, they won’t have to risk their salaries.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      Good points. Since our leaders have failed to lead, others will have to step up – as they have done in various ways already. I reject the notion that the others are to blame though. There is no reason bargaining has to be as adversarial as it has been. There is no reason UOM should take the blame for the divide. There is every reason to expect that those we pay exorbitant salaries to lead should do just that – lead…despite all the noise around them. That they have failed to capture the confidence and trust of those they lead is no one’s fault but their own. Everything else is mostly just a response to that failure.

      I was willing to give Gott the benefit of the doubt. To assign his lack of connection to the “deliberate, thoughtful style” we heard so much about when he was hired. To assume that he was trying to find a path to connect and engage faculty but “style” was holding him back.

      No more. His actions yesterday were loud and clear. He either lacks the basic ability to connect and engage with faculty or he lacks the desire. Indications are he lacks the desire. There was no desire yesterday to engage on tough issues and his responses to faculty were just plain insulting and dismissive.

      He let us know what he thought of faculty, staff and students – mere underlings to be tolerated. Please don’t bother the royalty as they go about the important work of deciding the future of this University.

      I will be boycotting the Investiture charade and instead spending my time on important and substantive work related to teaching, research and students. I implore others to join me – take a stand against what has been an epic failure of our President’s first year to engage what should be one of his top constituencies (I know he’s been busy in Portland and Salem but please, can’t we get a President that can multitask for God’s sake!).

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      I wish I shared the confidence that Hedgehog has in the CAS dean. I am sure he will get a decent review, but it is hard for me to see much evidence over the recent years of leadership, of any posture, public or private, to oppose the policies of JB and Company.

      I feel as tho we are waiting for a Messiah to appear and lead us to salvation. But it is also apparent to me, as Canis Minor suggests, that not much is going to change in a positive way over the next years, and we can count ourselves fortunate if the situation does not get worse.

      Can we really expect the currently leadership to develop and coherent and effective program with an independent board?

      Actually Pernsteiner is looking better every day, and I never thought I would admit that.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      One has to wonder where the FAC is in all this. Presumably that is a body of faculty that has the President’s ear and should be giving him this hard feedback. Of course, Frohnmayer never listed to the FAC. Not sure about Larivere or Berdahl. Does that body have any value anymore? Did it ever?

  13. Anonymous 05/15/2013

    I heard MG gave an equally disastrous (if less outright insulting) performance sometime recently next to OSU’s Ray at some Chamber of Commerce, City Boosters, or similar event. The person I talked to said it was not just embarrassing, but kind of shocking. Ray knocked it out of the park; our guy looked ill-prepared, didn’t connect to the audience, just seemed out of his league.

    How long is his contract for?

    Like an above poster, I was willing to wait and judge actions; and I thought I saw positive signs in some of the decisions MG has made; but the curtain has been pulled back now, and we are in deep trouble I think. If the Independent Board passes, we’re going to have a whole new top-level governance structure and this is the guy who will get it working? Or will that be Bean? We should all have a group cry at the Investiture.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      I’m going to boycott the investiture and just send my written comments to Greg Rikhoff, Gottfredson’s new chief suck-up.

  14. Michael Dreiling 05/15/2013

    I continue to hear critics and skeptics of our faculty union despite clear evidence that our organizing is pushing the envelope and tipping the balance of power. To whoever posted “the union is not pushing hard…” I ask, what are you doing? I want to remind folks that just a year ago, I and other union activists raised the very concerns we are seeing play out now, specifically the risks of an independent board without a legally backed UO Constitution. I spent hours over coffee with some of the most strident anti-union senior faculty on the campus. I heard anti-union colleagues chime the refrain that an independent board would be our salvation. But those of us building our union plodded on: we understood the need to build a countervailing force to protect this institution from the forces that were mounting a serious lobbying campaign in Salem to determine the shape of the independent board (“Oregonians for Higher Education Excellence”), one that would surely lack any legal statute protecting shared governance. Well, that is what we now have, as Frank Stahl astutely pointed out yesterday. In just barely one year, faculty activists formed our union: we polled our colleagues for bargaining priorities in summer 2012, studied contracts, constitutions, and bylaws of other faculty unions at peer universities, composed dozens of bargaining proposals that included shared governance, wrote a constitution and bylaws (soon to be voted on by members), worked closely with senate leadership (as many of us are/were also senators), committed a team of volunteers to bargaining and so much more. Our efforts that ensued at the bargaining table (and the ever effective muckraker UOM) exposed the recalcitrance of this administration, spending on anti-union lawyers and PR firms (totaling hundreds of thousands). And just in the last 2 months, we have worked hard as faculty activists to raise awareness of threats to shared governance in the independent board legislation and many of us have attended legislative events, met with legislators, lobbied, and met with faculty at PSU and OSU to coordinate statewide efforts. We have asked faculty to join in and support us every step of the way. And many faculty have responded with growing attendance at our bargaining sessions, our recent rally, and our recent call to fill the room at the Gottfredson Governance fiasco – indeed, it was the efforts of activists in the union and the senate who raised the bar, insisting the Administration get our union’s shared governance articles and the UO constitution covered in a contractually binding agreement. Without that, and our organizing to bring folks – with questions – to the event on May 14, it may have looked very different. Given the conditions, I am satisfied with the progress we have made and I am ready – like many others – to up the ante. It has been a lot of work and a lot of colleagues have given enormous effort to this cause. If you are done talking down the role of “the union” as if it were something out there and apart from us, then I welcome your contribution as we get a solid first contract and either get an independent board with votes for faculty, staff, and student members, structured in way that is accountable to the constitution and shared governance, or we kill the bill. The struggle is on all fronts. There is no messianic Administrator. We are it and united we will prevail.

    • Anonymous 05/15/2013

      As an officer of administration and NOT a faculty member, I do want to say how much I support the union and want to commend the work you and the rest of the UAUO are doing.

    • Daniel Pope 05/16/2013

      Bill–I think Michael deserves at least a coffee mug for this post and for putting his name on it. And to the anonymous OA supporter of UAUO, sincere thanks and may your tribe increase.

  15. Awesome0 05/16/2013

    How exactly are you going to up the ante? Going to distribute more buttons or negotiate better? Last I saw you tripped over yourselves to argue about how to split merit raises between TTF and NTTF without over mentioning the proposed raises were peanuts.

  16. Michael Dreiling 05/16/2013

    Awesome0, step in and help. It is great to have your passionate criticism (and occasional participation at a bargaining session). I too would like to move stronger on the salary proposals, but these are complicated issues that relate to public framing, internal diversity of opinion in a bargaining unit this size, etc. So it is easy for you to have this salary issue as your issue and hit at “the union” for not doing enough. But comments on UOM are not enough. Soon you will get an email informing you of some upcoming options (and more are in the works). If you want to get more involved and do the hard work of working toward agreement on strategy, tactics, and more, then you know how to get involved and put the hours in to make the case to others for our union to move in the direction you want. Anonymous sidelining is safe, but doesn’t get much done.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      I’ll hit the union for not doing enough, then. Removing the strike option for example… sort of a joke. Ever heard of a threat point? What reason does the administration have to listen/respond?

      The value of putting hours in, conditional on not having much of a threat, makes the investment pretty hard to make.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      I think we can strike whenever we want until a contract with the no-strike clause is signed. the administration has not signed the contract and seems to be in no particular hurry to do so. Gottfredson’s strategy is to drag this out til summer when the threat of a strike is meaningless. Meanwhile more faculty will leave, but he doesn’t give a shit, we’re out of the AAU soon anyway, and if he caves to the union his new boss Phil Knight won’t respect him in the morning. If he doesn’t move next week on pay and governance, we should start considering a strike or other work action during finals week. Our administrative colleagues can grade the exams.

    • Michael Dreiling 05/16/2013

      Alright badass anonymous, bring me 10 serious faculty from separate departments spread across at least 3 different schools who talk as tough as you and I would love to strategize how to mobilize that threat point on this campus. What would it take to exercise that option, to make that threat point real Mr. Anon? I happen to know a bit about this topic and about the successful use of the strike (and people who have done it) e.g., in the Cal State system. But talk is cheap. There is no contract, a strike option exists, so quit the smack and get to work. Our union is as strong as we make it. If you step up, I got your back. That goes for Awesome0 too, I’d vote for her/him.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      10 serious faculty… weren’t you part of a group that went to Gottfredson and he didn’t even prop the door open long enough to see you there? Embarrassment is the only threat around here, and that is fading in effect. You are as ignorable as I am. You’d think the union would recognize the numbers game and be the coordinating device that would amount to a threat. So far no dice.

  17. Awesome0 05/16/2013

    I’ve gone to every bargaining meeting and sent emails to several members highlighting issues from time to time throughout the negotiations. I am an asst. prof, so I am mainly concerned with getting myself tenure, and contributing to my profession, but I have tried to do what is reasonable.

    Regarding contributing, the union organizers a year ago made it clear that if you didn’t support the union initially, that you weren’t really welcome to help out or be on any of the committees. I think things are changing now, but the union rep that came to our department didn’t due much to inspire confidence and hasn’t returned since.

    If the bargaining team would really value my input on their economic proposals, some of which at best serve a narrow part of the faculty at large fixed cost, or at worst, are distortionary, I am happy to give my insights. The big argument for a combined NTTF/TTF union is that would make the union the strongest, aka allow us to bargain the most. Big claim, and it merits big evidence. Raises which don’t keep with inflation, while demanding 1.5 percent in dues doesn’t cut it in my view. I think the current union salary proposal looks ok/pretty good. But I likely would have gotten the slightly large raises if the departments had been allowed to pursue the previous practice of bumping up faculty to match new hires.

    In total (considering dues and other stuff), the current proposal probably makes me worse off because departments aren’t bumping up salaries to match new incoming faculty.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      Other “seniors” should also keep in mind that our young talent should remain concerned with getting tenure and contributing to their professions, and that we should be doing what we can to contribute to them wanting that tenure to be here. As long as it pays more to make the investments elsewhere, we’re screwed.

    • Michael Dreiling 05/16/2013

      Thank you Awesome0 for your time, which is even more appreciated knowing your tenure status. There will be plenty of ways for you to get involved down the road when you get tenure, like leading the salary charge for 2015 contract team. I do not know where you get 1.5 on dues…? and I agree the union proposal is good, and better than what this admin would have given us without bargaining. On your other point, if raising salaries to match new hires was the norm around here, and an option, then I think we would all jump aboard. If it happened in your department regularly, then rest assured, it was not the norm across campus. In the meantime, let’s continue to help get the best possible contract, and trust that some of us older farts are putting in extra to make sure you don’t have to. I am gonna end my posts on this thread and won’t check back, so Awesome0, if you want to talk about this further, please contact me off this blog.

    • Anonymous 05/16/2013

      Associate, at the margin of promotion… getting paid less than newly-minted assistants. Nothing being done about that, as far as I can tell.

    • Anonymous 05/17/2013

      What is the union doing for non teaching, non tenure track research faculty? we are a part of the union, but I’m unclear as to whether we are put into the same category as teaching NTTF when it comes to raises.

    • UO Matters 05/17/2013

      Yes, you’re in with the NTTFs.

      And to the assoc above, the administration rejected the union’s equity proposal, which would have been aimed at internal and external equity. The Union’s counter to the rejection included smaller amounts for equity. Presumably the administration will counter this coming weak, who knows with what though.

    • chuck 05/13/2014

      Doctors have been organizing, union drives are taking place throughout the country, including open shop states. The notions and nostrums ascribed to free markets and capitalism, are falling apart, there has to be some accord among tenured, non tenured, students, employees in order for this to work. This isn’t simply about any one’s salary, it’s about the fact that so many elements of academia are getting screwed, except the bosses. That has always been the biggest problem with the union drive, that, as far as I can see, far little outreach to elements outside of faculty has been made.

  18. Anonymous 05/17/2013

    I can’t help but notice in the second picture above, that MG has that “deer in the headlights” look in his eyes.

  19. Nathan 05/13/2014

    was right.

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