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Search for UO Dean of Journalism fails twice, now postponed

From an email sent out by Provost Scott Coltrane:

Dear School of Journalism and Communication Faculty and Staff:

After consulting with SOJC Associate Deans and the Dean’s Advisory Committee at a meeting on May 13, I have decided to defer the search for a new SOJC Dean until spring 2015. Contributing factors to this decision include the number of active searches in the SOJC, and several other executive level searches for the university soon to be announced.

I have received consistent feedback that the SOJC is in good hands with Interim Dean Julie Newton. Again, I would like to express my appreciation for her willingness to serve in this role. I will be in touch next winter about forming a committee and launching a search in spring 2015.


Scott Coltrane
Senior Vice President and Provost

“… several other executive level searches for the university soon to be announced”? Here’s hoping that includes a search for a new UO president.

Word is that former Dean Tim Gleason, well known for his work thwarting public access to public records, is helping Interim Dean Newton run things in the meantime.


  1. Not touching with a 10 foot poll 06/11/2014

    and CHRO failed 3 times, Labor Relations Manager 3 times; open until filled. Who would come here to work?

  2. Deborah Morrison 06/11/2014

    Please, Bill and friends of Bill. You simply don’t know anything about this so don’t make snide assumptions or backhanded remarks. Post Coltrane’s letter: that’s in the spirit of offering news. I get that. But the asides on Julie Newton and Tim Gleason are unfair and unwarranted.

    • uomatters Post author | 06/11/2014

      Tim Gleason worked with Dave Hubin’s administrative advisory group to make it more difficult for journalists to obtain public records from UO. With the rape allegations cover-up, we are now seeing the result in the form of serious damage to our university’s reputation.

      Here are the comments Prof. Morrison made on my post about the session on public records with Tim Gleason at the SPJ meeting at Allen Hall in November, which is linked in the above post, along with my response then.

      1) Morrison, commenting as “Unknown”:

      Gleason continues to have great support amongst our sojc faculty and industry because of the work he’s done. He’s shown vision and integrity at a time when we needed it most. So stop this nonsense, UOM. Your being asked to speak to the SPJ was disappointing (at the least) and wrongheaded. What you do is nowhere near journalism.

      Your value as leader and truth caller has been consistently devalued. Why? Snark, silliness, miscommunication, untruths, slander, lies. It’s meant to degrade and confuse. No one except your posse cares about what you churn out because the agenda is you, not the truth. That’s sad. And most emphatically, it’s not journalism.

      2) Morrison, commenting as Morrison:

      I hate anonymous posting. It’s probably the lowest point of humanity. So…
      I’m UNKNOWN above. I don’t write press releases and this does not call for one. And I don’t want a long harangue with you and your followers, Bill.

      But here’s the reality: this is the type of stuff that’s wrong. Gleason is not hostile to Freedom of Information and your post and the subsequent comments imply he is. The crap you’ve said about him and others is unfair and unethical.

      That’s what you do: you make work of implications and gossip and innuendo and then you all chew on it as if it’s fact. I’ve praised you very publicly before when you were asking hard questions, especially around the Lariviere issues. I’ve worked with you on SAIL and honor you for that.

      But as I noted in the other post, all the strong voice is negated when there’s constant misleading or simply vicious information like this post. The stuff you say about people, the attempts to disembowel and ruin careers, the side remarks that you and dog and old dog and anonymous, etc all peck to death has no value except as venom. You have your followers. But so many (most of whom are not politically active or in the JH culture) are simply turned off by this and see it as ruining the culture and opportunity at this University. There are better ways to solve problems and make things happen.

      This is an attempt to be honest. I hope it will be accepted as such.

      3) My response:

      To Deb Morrison:

      This post was my effort to respond to the claims Tim Gleason made at the SPJ conference regarding his history of support for public records and transparency. I thought his claims did not reflect the actual history at UO, where he has actively tried to make it more difficult for reporters and others to get public records.

      I have more documentation on that I could post. But I think the post has made that point. Re-reading it, I don’t see anything excessively personal it it, and in contrast there is plenty of substantive information, facts, documentation, and an accurate portrayal of what Gleason said at the session, and how it was received by the reporters present.

      In contrast, your comment on this post says:

      “But here’s the reality: this is the type of stuff that’s wrong. Gleason is not hostile to Freedom of Information and your post and the subsequent comments imply he is. The crap you’ve said about him and others is unfair and unethical.”

      I don’t recall seeing you at the session. Your comment does not include any documentation for your claim that Gleason is not hostile to public records access, or any information that conflicts with anything in my post. Your comment does include a personal attack on me, but you also don’t provide any support for that either.

      Obviously Gleason are I are not on friendly terms. You can see this quite clearly in my live-blogging about the union bargaining sessions, or in the “Open Letter” that he helped write, accusing me of being “anti-university”. At least I think he helped write it, UO’s public records office won’t tell me unless I pay them hundreds of dollars in fees, and Gleason won’t answer my questions about it. This is remarkably similar to nasty anonymous blog comments – except those don’t come on official UO letterhead!

      Regardless, I don’t think you attended any of those 42 union bargaining meetings either, so you don’t seem to be in a good position to do more than give an opinion about the origins of that mutual animosity either.

      That said, I’m happy to provide a place for you to write about me, since I think that opinions, even uninformed and nasty ones, can be an important form of civil speech.

      Bill Harbaugh

  3. I blame the search committees 06/11/2014

    This seems to be the latest instance of a “failed search,” a term that implies the “search” failed, not the search committee. The standard explanation for however a search turns out now seems to be that UOMatters scared off all of the really good, best-qualified applicants. But doesn’t that explanation also imply that search committees must have been all too happy to extend offers to not-so-really-good/not-the-best-qualified applicants?

    Over the years, UO has been well served by internal leaders; not those served up by expensive head hunters at airport interviews. Some will dispute this, but…

    Paul Olum, compared with Inches Brand: Jeez.

    John Moseley, compared with Norm Wessells (Norm? Who? Say what you will about John, but Moseley knew budgets at a time when the state legislature would have happily turned us into a low-security prison).

    Dave.1 (the early Frohnmeyer) vs. I can’t remember…

    Now there are some special cases—Dave.2, the lost-the-thread-of-what-we-actually-do-here Dave, is a counter example to the home-grown leadership idea, as was the “outsider” Richard Lariviere, but, regrettably, look how that turned out. Scott Coltrane might be another anomaly. There was an external search for Provost, but I’ll argue that Coltrane a) was the right choice, and b) was inculcated enough to be home grown by then. I don’t subscribe to the notion that UOMatters drove off other, better candidates. If so, blame the search committee.

    What about other recent searches?

    Espy: total disaster.

    Gottfredson: Disaster x 2 (one for the hire, two for the replacement).

    I think the common thread is that recently constituted search committees have been clueless and ineffective, and we need a new search image for search committee membership.

  4. anon 06/11/2014

    UO will have a very tough time making outside hires until your board decides what to do about your president. It’s a career decision, good people have many options and like to have some idea what they are signing up for.

  5. whatever 06/12/2014

    Thank you for reprinting Deb’s comments. I agree with every single thing she said. I think it is funny that you call postings such as these “nasty” and “uninformed” since you make shit up and then post it as true and have attempted to ruin careers. Take a look in the mirror Bill and stop deluding yourself that you are helpful to this University.

  6. bfd 06/12/2014

    Deb must be so excited to have your anonymous approval!

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